LORD David and Patsy Puttnam have completed their application papers to become Irish citizens amid their ongoing concerns over the future of Britain in the context of Brexit.
The couple live in Skibbereen and are marking their 30th Christmas in West Cork. This week, the Oscar-winning film producer David was honoured with the TK Whitaker award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Life at the 2019 Business and Finance Irish Business awards.
David, who has previously described Brexit as the gravest issue he’s faced in his lifetime, said that it was clear that having fought the madness of Brexit to a standstill, the time had come for them to confirm their commitment as Europeans, and to the nation that had welcomed and adopted them.
He also used the occasion to encourage politicians in Ireland to ‘incentivise young people into public service’ and to recognise the importance of RTÉ as the nation’s public service broadcaster, in ensuring that information is kept impartial and accurate.
‘We need familiar voices and faces – but most of all we need prompt, accurate and impartial information – information we can completely trust in times of crisis.
‘Because crises there will be. You only have to consider our recent, collective response to the death of Gay Byrne to be reminded of how important ‘trusted voices’ are to the national conversation – for their ability to speak truth to power.’
Lord Puttnam is the first international honoree of the Whitaker Award, with Mary McAleese, Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins all having received the award, now in its fourth year. He is a founding member of the Ludgate digital hub in Skibbereeen and also runs his own education company – Atticus Education – from his home outside the town.
Mario Draghi, former ECB president, received The Sutherland Leadership Award at the same event.