St. Patrick’s Festival is delighted to announce American Irish actor, musician and producer John C. Reilly as International Guest of Honour at the national St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday March 17th. John’s visit to Ireland is made possible by St. Patrick’s Festival, in partnership with Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse.
John embodies the spirit of Ireland’s tribe of 80 million diaspora across the world - a genuine sense of connection-to-place that generations with Irish heritage experience, a love of the country and the people, and a desire to better understand the stories of those who left and those who were left behind.
John C. Reilly is a proud American Irish actor. The fifth of six children, John grew up in an Irish-Lithuanian household in Southwest Chicago, in a predominantly Irish neighbourhood. John’s paternal great grandfather, along with various other family members, emigrated in the early 1900s from Ireland and set about building a life in Chicago.
Speaking of his role as International Guest of Honour, John C. Reilly said “I am so excited to have been chosen as the International Guest of Honour for Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year! It’s been a long time since we have all been able to celebrate life together and I can’t think of a better place to do it than Ireland. I’m honoured to be part of the celebration of the rich history of Ireland with all of the good people in Dublin. A great day for hope and a great day for the Irish and the Irish at heart. See you there!”
John will appear in the national St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin on March 17th, alongside Grand Marshal’s Paralympic gold medal swimmer Ellen Keane and Olympic gold medal boxer Kellie Harrington. The Parade commences at 12 midday and runs from Parnell Square to Cuffe St/Kevin St junction, for approximately two hours, and promises to be the biggest, most spectacular parade ever produced on the streets of Dublin. For those who cannot attend in person, the Parade will be broadcast on RTÉ One and can be watched across the world on the RTÉ Player.
Anna McGowan, Interim Director at St. Patrick’s Festival said: ‘We are incredibly excited that John C. Reilly can make the journey to Dublin to take part in the national St. Patrick’s Day Parade. John has proudly and consistently worn his Irish roots with pride on the world stage. His family story is that of millions of our diaspora across the world and we look forward to welcoming him home.”
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to welcome John C. Reilly to Dublin, as International Guest of Honour for this year’s St Patrick’s Day Parade. As we restart overseas tourism to Ireland this year, our aim on St Patrick’s Day is to capitalise on the heightened exposure for Ireland. Our message is that Ireland is open for business again and we cannot wait to welcome back our Diaspora and international visitors.”
Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland said: “With a spectacular line up celebrating our culture, people and places, the St. Patrick’s Festival will not only give visitors the opportunity to experience the very best of our capital city, but with 40 international journalists and broadcast media in attendance, it will showcase Ireland as a fantastic tourist destination to people around the world. We are pleased that John C. Reilly has been chosen as the festival’s International Guest of Honour this year. An incredibly talented American Irish actor, musician and producer, John is a great ambassador for Ireland and we look forward to welcoming him to Dublin.”
Catherine Toolan, Managing Director, Diageo Ireland Brand Homes, said: “What a joy it is to finally welcome back international visitors to our shores and to the Home of Guinness this St. Patrick’s Day. We are especially excited to see the return of visitors from the US and to be hosting one in particular, John C. Reilly, at the Guinness Storehouse. We are huge fans of John and look forward to celebrating with him in our Gravity Bar, taking in the best views of Dublin City and toasting to Ireland’s re-opening.”