Irish echo logo 750x550

Gabriel Byrne is Ireland's cultural ambassador

"The honorary position of Cultural Ambassador has been introduced in order to enhance the involvement and impact of internationally renowned artists in the cultural promotion of Ireland. The appointee will assist the government in developing its vision for the promotion of Irish arts, culture and the creative industries internationally," said an Irish government statement.

"Gabriel Byrne is an internationally renowned, award-winning actor and is already well established as one of Ireland's great ambassadors through his work in film and theatre, as well as his endeavors behind the scenes in supporting and promoting Irish artists.

"The title of Cultural Ambassador is a formal recognition of his role and shows a willingness on both parts to harness the energy and goodwill for maximum effect," said Minister Cullen in what was one of his last duties before resigning his post for health reasons.

In Washington, Cowen said that Byrne was already well established as one of Ireland's great ambassadors through his work in film and theater, as well as behind the scenes in supporting and promoting Irish artists.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Sign up today to get daily, up-to-date news and views from Irish America.