‘To see his face and to see him so shocked and so joyous and so grateful. I’m very grateful’
The Maynooth native learned he was in the running for best actor alongside Colin Farrell yesterday, sharing the moment with his family.
Paul’s mum Dearbhla got emotional speaking about her son’s achievement on Radio 1 with Ray D’Arcy – as she begins her battle with cancer.
The mum-of-three has been open about her journey online, getting her first haircut in preparation for chemotherapy yesterday – just hours before her son would receive his Oscar nomination.
"My mum got her first haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy and then Paul got nominated for an Oscar, life is so crazy,” his younger sister Nell said on Twitter.
Her mum Dearbhla got the chop “before the hospital short cut” yesterday, she said, later revealing a shorter hairstyle with a slight fringe.
“I know what’s ahead because I have been informed by my wonderful team and I want to be ready so that when I’m in hospital I’m only concentrating on that battle.
"This is the final stage for me to start living with this cancer.”
On her son’s Oscar nomination, Dearbhla revealed she had been “folding washing” to distract herself from the announcements.
“I don’t watch [the announcements] because I find them way too stressful, I was folding washing.
"I just waited for the WhatsApp,” she added.
"We have this WhatsApp group and there were shocked faces and crying eyes… just wow.
“Nobody knows before it’s announced so it is just this nerve wracking five hours once you wake up from waiting."
The proud mum called the moment “magic, joyful” and “bizarre” when host Ray D’Arcy said the words “Oscar-nominated” will now always follow her 26-year-old son’s name.
"When you look at the people he’s with… we kind of jokingly say we’re a country of storytellers and actually, when you see what we have produced, it’s quite amazing when you see the films that are there.
"And Paul is one of those very lucky ones to be in the mix.”
Dearbhla has had a rake of “pinch-me moments” in the last week, she said, as she was in the audience of The Late Late Show as her youngest Nell performed her debut single live on Friday night.
The mum-of-three described the whirlwind three years her son has had since 2020, where he has since seen international stardom with Normal People, Aftersun and God’s Creatures.
"All I know is it’s wonderful to have those family – I mean everybody who has children away – family WhatsApp is just the business, and when you do that video call and everyone can be on it.
"Y’know, you don’t actually care what the news is going to be, you just want to see their faces.
"And for me, to see his face and to see him so shocked and so joyous and so grateful. I’m very grateful. I’m going to get emotional.
"I'm very, very proud.”
Dearbhla apologised to listeners as she teared-up talking about her son’s achievement, saying it is an “emotional” moment.
"I’m very, very proud. But I think people who have children doing anything – the people you love – you move mountains for them because you want them to achieve in whatever they are doing.
“You just want them to be as happy as they can be."
She said “the love of his life” is acting and is “just delighted” for her son as he continues his London run in A Streetcar Named Desire.