Mark Hamill is officially coming to Dublin for this year's St Patrick's Day Festival 5 years ago

Mark Hamill is officially coming to Dublin for this year's St Patrick's Day Festival

He conquered the Wild Atlantic Way, but now he's coming for the Big Shmoke.

In case this year's Dublin St. Patrick's Day didn't seem epic enough, given that Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham will be leading the parade, we're also getting a Jedi Knight.


Star Wars' biggest star Mark Hamill has been appointed as the very first International Guest of Honour for the 2018 Festival.

Yes, the actual Luke Skywalker will be appearing in person, and not just as a Force-powered hologram like he did during The Last Jedi.

After becoming the Wild Atlantic's most beloved visitor while filming the latest Star Wars episode in Skellig Michael in Kerry - to the point that one bar now commemorates the place he pulled a Guinness - Hamill is being welcomed back to these shores to kickstart a new honorary role of International Guests of Honour.

The role is presented to individuals from the world of business, arts or media, with a "special connection or significant affinity to Ireland". In Hamill's case, he doesn't just have the entire west coast fawning over him. His great-grandmother was born in Kilkenny in 1873, his great-great-great grandparents married in Carlow and he has links to a family of Famine immigrants.


Hamill will be present in the Presidential stand to view the National Festival Parade on 17 March with the theme this year being Home.

Commenting on the news, Susan Kirby, St. Patrick’s Festival CEO said: "The role of International Guest of Honour is something we have been considering for a few years."


"There are so many examples of Irish people and the diaspora achieving eminence across many different art forms and disciplines worldwide. Many of these have a special connection with Ireland and we want to celebrate and recognise this. Mark has a special affinity to Ireland through his filming of Star Wars and family history and has done much for our film industry. We’re looking forward to welcoming him back ‘home’ to celebrate our national holiday and St. Patrick’s Festival with us."

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue said: "The Force will truly be with us on 17 March and we are delighted to hear that Mark Hamill will be joining us as the first ever St Patrick’s Festival International Guest of Honour. Mark has been a great ambassador for Ireland and it is amazing to have someone of such universal – even galactic - acclaim in this new honorary role."

For more information on the 2018 St. Patrick's Day Festival or to view the full programme of events, visit the official website here.