'Give whatever you can...this is close to my heart' - Hollywood actor Colin Farrell calls on country to get behind Special Olympics 24-hour fundraiser
Hollywood star Colin Farrell is encouraging people to dig deep to raise funds for Special Olympics Ireland.
Every cent counts for the sports charity today, when volunteers will take to streets across the country to raise funds on their annual collection day.
True Detective star Farrell has been a high-profile ambassador for the charity since the World Games were held in Ireland in 2003.
Based in Los Angeles, he released a video encouraging everyone to get behind the Special Olympics effort.
"Everyone remembers in 2003 when our country hosted the Special Olympics World Games and we gave accommodation and shelter to athletes from all over the world in various towns around the whole country," he said.
"It was an amazing experience for the whole country and everyone was supportive and got behind it.
"It is an incredible thing what Special Olympics does, and it is an amazing opportunity for the athletes involved to be recognised for striving to realise the fullest of their potential.
"It is a really worthy cause and one that is very close to my heart and, I believe, close to the hearts of the people of Ireland."
This summer, 88 Irish athletes will head to Los Angeles to take part in the World Games and Farrell (38) hopes to be there to cheer them on.
"I'm here in Los Angeles and hopefully I'll be in town and won't have to go to work and that will mean I can be a part of it and see all of the Irish athletes. I'll be excited by that myself," he said.
To donate, you can text Special to 50300 and €2 will go to Special Olympics.
Meanwhile, Farrell will receive the Navigator Award at the 16th annual Maui Film Festival in Hawaii June.
The festival organisers say the award honours "a film artist for carving a path of distinction while maintaining a commitment to excellence".
Tim Burton, Jessica Chastain and Clint Eastwood are previous recipients.
Farrell also plays the lead in The Lobster, an Irish co-production that will screen at the Cannes Film Festival next month.