ONE of Northern Ireland’s finest and most successful actors Ciaran Hinds has been awarded with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement accolade at the Ulster Tatler Awards in association with Optilase Eye Clinic, which took place last night (Thursday) in Belfast’s iconic City Hall.

The Game Of Thrones star flew into town to pick up the award which in the past has been won by a host of local legends including Dame Mary Peters, James Galway, Brian Friel, Phil Coulter, Gloria Hunniford, Michael Longley, Gerry Armstrong, Barry McGuigan, Terri Hooley and Marie Jones.

Hinds is no stranger to being recognised for his talents in drama, having picked up The Theatre World New York Award for best debut in Closerin 1999, as well as picking up Best Actor at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.  In 2014 he also returned to Queens University to pick up an honorary degree for his services to film and drama.

Belfast-born Ciaran studied law at Queen’s University before he left to embark on his acting career at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where he graduated in 1975.

His film debut came in 1981 with ‘Excalibur’ where he starred alongside Dame Helen Mirren, Gabriel Byrne and his life-long friend, Liam Neeson.

With a career that extends over three decades, his film appearances have included some of the most prevalent films of our time, including Harry Potter, Frozen, Justice League, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, There Will Be BloodRoad to Perdition, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Sum of all Fears, In Bruges, to name but a few.

Ciaran has acted alongside some of the world’s biggest stars including Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Colin Firth, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Affleck, Gary Oldman, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett, Sigourney Weaver, Scarlett Johansson, and many more.

With two new films out this Autumn, Hinds is as in-demand as ever, being on call for some of the world’s leading directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle and Sam Mendes.

He has just finished playing the part of charismatic school master Hugh, in the National Theatre’s revival of Translations, which was written by 2009 Ulster Tatler Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, the late Brian Friel.

Ulster Tater editor Chris Sherry said that Hinds was an extremely worthy winner of the evening’s pivotal award.

“I have huge admiration for Ciaran as a Belfast-bred Hollywood success,” said Chris.  “He is one of the most respected stage and screen actors in the business, and the list of films that he has starred in, along with the actors and directors that he has worked with, reflects a truly extraordinary career.

“Importantly, Ciaran is also a marvellous ambassador for Northern Ireland and someone who, in every way, represents the essence of what our Lifetime Achievement Award is all about,” he added.

Awards host Pamela Ballantine delivered the citation for the award to a full house of more than 400 guests at Belfast City Hall, reliving the exciting life to date of the inspiring Ciaran Hinds.

Other big winners on the night included World Superbike Champion Jonathan Rea, who was named Sportsperson of the Year in a hotly-contested category that also included boxing champion Carl Frampton, gymnast Rhys McClenaghan and Ulster and Ireland rugby aces Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale.

Ulster, Ireland and British Lions legend Tommy Bowe was awarded The Bank of Ireland Special Merit Award on the night for his services to rugby for both Ulster and Ireland.  This award has been previously awarded to former Ulster Rugby coach Brian McLaughlin, the Northern Ireland football team and Ulster Rugby legend Ruan Piennaar. 

The Celebrity of the Year award was won bymuch-loved local star Pamela Ballantine who was also the glamourous host on the night.

The evening, wasn’t short of ‘glitz and glamour’ as Ulster Rugby’s Luke Marshall and Luis Ludvik joined Ireland hockey squad ladies Katie Mullan, Zoe Wilson, Lizzie Colvin and Shirley McKay on the A-list guest list.

Well known faces Barra Best, Miss Northern Ireland Katharine Walker and The Lord Mayor also stepped out to celebrate at the City Hall venue.

“This year’s awards were particularly difficult to judge as the standard of local talent in Northern Ireland seems to get higher every year and every single category was bursting with worthy nominees,” said Ulster Tatler editor Chris Sherry.

“I want to extend huge congratulations to the winners from each category and all those shortlisted, who should all be extremely proud of what they have achieved within their businesses throughout the last year.  I also want to personally thank everyone for their support.

“This year we are celebrating the eleventh year of the Ulster Tatler Awards and the event was a complete sell-out so really we couldn’t have asked for more.  The night was a massive success!” added Chris.

Winners in other categories included Radiance Beauty and Day Spa which lifted Beauty Salon / Spa of the Year and Titanic Hotel which received the award for Hotel of the Year; LilyRose Boutique which was presented with Fashion Boutique of the Year; Donna Monteith of Monteith Interiorswho was named Interior Designer of the Year; Killinchy Housetook the award for House of the Year,Weir Travel was awarded with Independent Travel Agent of the Year; Shauna McAuley Hair which was named Hairdressing Salon of the Year; The Ivory was awarded Restaurant of the Year; who took the award for Website of the Year; The House Bar which snapped up the title of Pub of the Year, Conor Cole of Cole Groundwork who earned himself Business Man of the Year and Roisin McFeely of Amazing Brains who was named Business Woman of the Year.

The Ulster Tatler Awards 2018 were sponsored by Optilase Eye Clinic, Duffy Rafferty Communications, Zen Day Spa, Hafele, Denman, Linwoods, Carlanto, Acorn IT Solutions, Saville Audio Visual, Corick House Hotel & Spa, Mervyn Stewart, Insanity Tan, Bank of Ireland, Jack Murphy Jewellers, W&G Baird, ND Events and U105.


MEDIA ENQUIRIES: The following page contains a complete list of winners from this year’s Ulster Tatler Awards 2017. For further information please contact Jillian Frew or Michael Rafferty of Duffy Rafferty Communications on 028 907 30880 / 07568308258 or


ULSTER TATLER AWARDS 2018:  Category shortlists

Fashion Boutique of the Year

  1. Couture Grandeur – Newry
  2. Florrie & Will – Dromore
  3. LilyRose Boutique – Moira
  4. Millars Shoe Store – Craigavon
  5. SilhouetteBelfast


Public House

  1. The Doyen – Belfast
  2. The Five Corners – Ballyclare
  3. House Bar – Botanic
  4. The Lobster Pot – Strangford
  5. The Speckled Hen – Dunmurry


Hairdressing Salon of the Year

  1. The Boathouse Hair Salon- Ballycastle
  2. Elizabeth Ann Hair – Newtownabbey
  3. Ollar Hair – Ballyclare
  4. Peter Mark – Arthur Street, Belfast
  5. Shauna McAuley Hair – Lisburn


Beauty Salon / Spa of the Year

  1. About Face Beauty – Carrickfergus
  2. Clare McKinney Make-up – Lisburn
  3. Corick House Hotel and Spa – Clogher
  4. Inner Beauty – Millisle
  5. Radiance Beauty and Day Spa – Lisburn Road Belfast


House of the Year

  1. Lisburn Road House
  2. Seaforde, Co. Down House
  3. Killinchy House – Newtownards


Hotel of the Year

  1. Hilton Hotel – Belfast
  2. Killyhevlin Lakeside Hotel and Spa – Enniskillen
  3. Lough Erne Resort and Spa – Fermanagh
  4. Roe Park Resort – Limavady
  5. Titanic Hotel – Belfast


Interior Designer

  1. Donna Monteith – Ballynahinch
  2. Ian Thompson – Belfast
  3. Jenny Bond – Belfast
  4. Shauna Kelly – Magherafelt
  5. Trevor Wilson – Moira


Independent Travel Agent of the Year

  1. Bangor Travel – Bangor
  2. Oasis – Lisburn
  3. Thompson Travel – Craigavon
  4. Travelmore – Lurgan
  5. Weir Travel – Coleraine/Ballymena



NI Website

  1. Belfast Live –
  2. Christies Direct –
  3. Eating Ideas –
  4. Inviz –
  5. Q Radio –


Business Woman of the Year

  1. Lynsey Watkins (MAC Hair) – Newtownabbey
  2. Grainne McCoy (Make-up Artist & Apprentice candidate) – Newry
  3. Gemma Murphy (Jack Murphy Jewellers) – Newry
  4. Roisin McFeely (Amazing Brains) – Carrickfergus
  5. Sinead Patton (Veolia) – Belfast


Business Man of the Year

  1. Conor Cole (Cole Groundwork) – Newry
  2. Gerry White (Jawbox Gin) – Belfast
  3. Joe McGlinchey (Bronze Direct) – Newry
  4. Michael Kane (MK & Co Accountants) – Carrickfergus
  5. Robin Stewart (Robinson Shoes) – Carrickfergus


Restaurant of the Year

  1. The Curious Fox at Edenmore– Moira
  2. Hadskis – Belfast
  3. Souls – Belfast
  4. The Ivory – Belfast
  5. Wine and Brine – Moira


Celebrity of the Year

  1. Kerry Fearon – Armagh
  2. Jamie Dornan – Belfast
  3. Stephen Clements – Carrickfergus
  4. Pamela Ballantine – Belfast
  5. Sir Kenneth Brannagh – Belfast


Sportsperson of the Year

  1. Rory Best – Craigavon
  2. Carl Frampton – Belfast
  3. Jonathan Rea – Ballyclare
  4. Jacob Stockdale – Newtownstewart
  5. Rhys McClenaghan – Newtownards