As Jim noted earlier, the “Falling Slowly Saga”, as I’ve just dubbed it now, is over.
I got this email response to a query I lodged with the Academy on Monday afternoon:
The Academy’s Music Branch Executive Committee has met and endorsed the validity of “Falling Slowly” as a nominated achievement. The committee relied on written assurances and detailed chronologies provided by the songwriters of “Falling Slowly,” the writer/director of ONCE and Fox Searchlight.
The genesis of the picture was unusually protracted, but director John Carney and songwriter Glen Hansard were working closely together in 2002 when the project that became ONCE was first discussed. “Falling Slowly” began to be composed, but the actual script and financing for the picture were delayed for several years, during which time Mr. Hansard and his collaborator Marketa Irglova played the songs in some European venues. Such previous uses were deemed local enough and minor enough to be inconsequential to the song’s eligibility.
So there you go.