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Brendan Gleeson as Winston Churchill in HBO's "Into the Storm"

Irish favorite Brendan Gleeson takes home the Emmy

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Brendan Gleeson as Winston Churchill in HBO's "Into the Storm"

Gabriel Byrne may have missed out on an Emmy win for his starring role in “In Treatment,” but the Irish still shone on Emmy night with Irish favorite Brendan Gleeson taking home the globe.

Gleeson won an Emmy on Sunday night for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in HBO’s “Into the Storm.” It's the first Emmy win for the Irishman.

The iconic Irish actor won the Best Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie category.

He was up against fellow Irishman Kenneth Branagh, who was nominated for his role in PBS’ “Wallander: One Step Behind” and Irish American Kevin Kline, who was up for same award for the starring role in PBS’ “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

Gleeson also beat out Kiefer Sutherland of “24,” Ian McKellan of “King Lear” and Kevin Bacon of “Taking Chance.”

In his acceptance speech, the shocked 54-year-old acclaimed actor said: “Now there’s a turn-up for the books.”

He then thanked the cast and crew of “Into the Storm,” and thanked producer Frank Doelger for letting his mother see the film before she passed away.

“In particular Frank Doelger for allowing my mam and dad to see a first cut of this, of ‘Into the Storm,’ before my mam died. It meant a huge amount to me and I’d like to thank him for that,” Gleeson said.

“Into the Storm,” which was directed by Dubliner Thaddeus O'Sullivan, took a look at the life and career of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the end of WWII.

The other Irish award of the evening came with Dearbhla Walsh’s win for Outstanding Direcing of a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special for BBC’s “Little Dorrit.”

Irish Arts Minister Martin Cullen says the two successes prove that Irish artistic talent continually receives international recognition and praise.

Irish Film Board chief executive Simon Perry 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.”

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