Brendan Gleeson joined Ryan Tubridy on his return to The Late Late Show, invoking Flann O'Brien's 'The Workman's Friend' and hoping that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic would lead to a 'reprioritisation' of what's important in life.
The actor was in LA when the virus struck, working on a modern adaptation of MacBeth with Joel Coen. Although it took three weeks, he eventually made his return to Ireland. Gleeson needed Garda clearance in order to join Tubridy in studio, although said that being in-studio was a necessary journey in order to fundraise for St Francis' Hospice.
Gleeson hopes that this tumultuous period will lead to a 'recalibration of what's important'. He called on people to continue to place 'health and kindness' front and centre as the essentials in life. The star of The Guard said that it's amazing that 'the nation has come together to get out of each other's way'.
Furthermore, Gleeson spoke on behalf of St Francis' Hospice, an institution close to his heart given both his mother and father spent their dying days in the centre.
Gleeson talked about how special the staff at the hospice were, particularly with his mother. They 'alleviated the responsibility' that his mother felt she needed to undertake. Gleeson mentioned being beside his mother in her dying days, urging people to remember that those who are dying due to Covid-19 are 'individuals, not statistics'.
Brendan Gleeson on the huge importance of St. Francis Hospice and what their invaluable work has meant to him and his family.
To donate to the hospice, please call 01 832 7535 or visit https://t.co/gkqT17xc30. #latelate pic.twitter.com/5sCGHI4KQx
— The Late Late Show (@RTELateLateShow) April 10, 2020
Gleeson was 'thrilled' to see medics returning from Australia, although found it funny that people are only realising now that nursing isn't a 'vocation', rather, it's a necessary and essential form of work.
'It's hilarious that people are only realising now that nursing is essential, that cleaners are essential.
'People need to realise that there's a dignity in what everyone's doing at all times.'
Gleeson was joined by his son Fergus for a musical rendition of Flann O'Brien's 'The Workman's Friend', with popular refrain 'a pint of plain is your only man' repeating throughout.
Gleeson noted during his performance that pints of plain won't save us, social distancing and staying at home will.
Though, both Tubridy and Gleeson noted that when this is all over, a pint of plain will be the nation's only man.