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Saoirse Ronan, ‘Three Billboards’ Triumph at Ireland’s Film and Drama Awards

Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan took home the best actress prize at the Irish Film and Television Academy’s Film and Drama Awards, which took place in Dublin on Thursday night. Ronan’s win for her leading role in Great Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” came exactly a decade after she was named IFTA’s Rising Star of 2008, following her breakthrough performance in Joe Wright’s “Atonement.”

The Irish actress is a favorite of the IFTAs, having won six lead actress awards and three supporting actress awards from the organization over the past 10 years. She picked up the same award two years ago for her role in John Crowley’s “Brooklyn.”

Ronan has already picked up a Golden Globe for her role in “Lady Bird” as well as a number of critics’ awards. She is nominated for both a BAFTA and an Oscar for the role, which marks her fourth BAFTA nomination and third Oscar nomination.

One of Ronan’s chief rivals in the BAFTA and Oscar races, Frances McDormand, picked up the best international actress award from IFTA for her role in Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” McDonagh also claimed the award for best film scriptwriter while “Three Billboards” was named best international film, beating out “Lady Bird,” Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” and Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.”

Aisling Walsh’s “Maudie” also picked up three awards, including best director for Walsh. The film’s star, Ethan Hawke, was named best international actor, and John Hand won for his production design.

Best feature went to Frank Berry’s Irish prison drama “Michael Inside”; best leading actor to John Connors for “Cardboard Gangsters”; and supporting actress to Victoria Smurfit for “The Lears.” “Dunkirk” star Barry Keoghan won supporting actor for his role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer.”

“Game of Thrones” was named best drama, while Emer Reynolds took home the best documentary prize for her film “The Farthest.” Gabriel Byrne received the Irish Academy’s lifetime achievement award; casting director Ros Hubbard received the Spotlight award; and Jacob McCarthy was named this year’s recipient of the IFTA Rising Star award.

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