Brendan Gleeson and Irish director Dearbhla Walsh scoop Emmys

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson has scooped this year’s Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie.

Gleeson won the award his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Into The Storm. The actor beat the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, Kenneth Branagh and Kiefer Sutherland, all of which were shortlisted for the award.

Accepting the award, Gleeson said: “Now there’s a turn-up for the books.” He went on to give an emotional speech, thanking the production team for giving his parents the chance to see an early cut of the film.

Irish director Dearbhla Walsh was awarded the prize for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special category for her work on the BBC drama Little Dorrit. Two out of the six nominations in this category were for Irish directors.  Walsh was nominated alongside fellow Irish director Thaddeus O’Sullivan who was nominated for his work on the HBO drama INTO THE STORM. Walsh is currently directing episodes of The Tudors the final series which is currently filming in Wicklow.

Simon Perry, Chief Executive of the IFB said “It’s great to see, amid the gloom of such a recession, that the flames of Irish talent burns as brightly as ever. Irish directors, actors, writers and film crew are a great asset to Ireland, and these awards will ensure that we continue to retain our international reputation for creativity and innovation.”

Ireland received ten Emmy award nominations in total between the Emmy Creative Arts awards and the Primetime awards. Irish actor star Gabriel Byrne (Jindabyne, Vanity Fair) was nominated for the second year running and previously scooped the Golden Globe award last year for his performance in IN TREATMENT.