Magnificent Irish actors and directors such as Brendan Gleeson, Daniel Day Lewis and Jim Sheridan will be busy viewing for Golden Globes awards on Sunday night, but the fact is that the awards themselves are a sham.

The Golden Globes are the property of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, composed of all 90 foreign journalists who get to decide who will have a blockbuster hit and who will not. In contrast, the Oscars jury contains 6,000 members from every aspect of the film business

The London Times recently reported that among the 90 judges a "Alexander Nevsky, a former Russian bodybuilder; Mira Panajotovic Vukelich, an English teacher of Serbian origin, and the British jazz writer Howard Lucraft – who’s still listed as an active member at the age of 93. Turnover is slow in this exclusive club: the Egyptian columnist Mahfouz Doss joined in 1959, when Ben Hur won Best Picture."

Yet this bunch of unknowns has a power and impact second only to the Oscars when it comes to Hollywood star-making and breaking.

Little wonder that there is a very high degree of cynicism about the awards, but that does not stop millions taking the awards very seriously.

The Irish contenders this year are:

Daniel Day Lewis, who was nominated for his lead role in “Nine,” where he plays a director struggling to balance his work with his interesting personal life.

Brendan Gleeson, who is up for Best Performance for Television for his role of World War II prime minister Winston Churchill in HBO's “Into the Storm.”

Director Jim Sheridan's movie “Brothers,” about the Iraq war is up for two separate awards. U2could also win Best Original Song for their music on the film’s soundtrack.

Colin Farrell won an award in 2009 for "In Bruges."