Movies Made in Ireland - Lights, Camera, Action

Posted by Niamh Allabyrne on the 24th of October 2012 at 10:26:03

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With our beautiful rolling green fields, wild,rugged coastlines and plethora of historic houses, castles and jails, it is no wonder that Ireland is a much favoured movie location. Add to that the charm and wit of the locals, a great pint of Guinness and of courses talented production staff, Ireland’s popularity is not going to wane any time soon. So, follow me as I guide you through some of the movies filmed here – from cheesy rom-coms, to historical epics to Hollywood and indeed Bollywood blockbusters!

Ireland Image General

What better place to start our cinematic journey than in the capital of the Emerald Isle – Dublin. Kilmainham Gaol has had a tumultuous past and is one of the most important historical and political sites in Ireland. However, it has also been featured in quite a few movies such as “In the Name of the Father” (nominated for 7 Academy Awards in1994) and the original “The Italian Job” British Movie from 1969).

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin City

Another spot worth checking out is Smithfield Plaza, which is where the Old Jameson Distillery is located. This is the place where “The Spy Who Came inFrom the Cold” was shot. The 1965 Oscar-winning adaptation of the novel by John Le Carre starred Richard Burton as a Cold War-era British spy.

The world famous Trinity College Dublin has been the backdrop for films like “Educating Rita” and Maeve Binchy’s movie adaption “Circle of Friends” featuring Minnie Driver and Chris O’ Donnell and more recently the Bollywood epic Ek tha Tiger which was filmed here in the latter part of 2011. The Dublin streets came alive with the colours and sounds of India and its biggest movie stars Katrina Kaif, and Salman Khan. And many more movies were filmed in the streets of Dublin from Michael Collins to Once, Leap Year and This Must be the Place to name but a few……

Bollywood Movie in Dublin City

Not too far away from Dublin and my favourite spot in Ireland, the Wicklow Mountains have witnessed their fair share of Hollywood greats and not so greats too! Popular films like Braveheart, Excalibur, P.S. I Love You and Leap Year were all filmed here. Wicklow is very beautiful and seems to encapsulate what so many people envision Ireland to be – a myriad of greens and blues, rocky mountains, crystal clear rivers and streams and a serenity that speaks to you from the Technicolor cinema screen. Hire a car and do one of the Wicklow Movie Drives, of which there are 3 to pick from - Braveheart, Excalibur and the Michael Collins Drive. These marked routes take you throughout County Wicklow and show you where certain scenes were shot amidst the beauty of this picturesque county.

In the very western part of Ireland there is another gorgeous spot of unspoiled nature – the Dingle Peninsula. When Sir David Lean decided to film Ryan’s Daughter here over 40 years ago, he showed the whole world how beautiful this part of Ireland was. The superb cinematography and the natural beauty of the area as depicted on screen helped to make Dingle the popular holiday destination it is today. Since the completion of the movie, many of the cast and crew returned to Dingle on holidays, some even settled there permanently.

Ryan's Daughter film poster

Another movie that was filmed on the Dingle Peninsula a few years later, is Far and Away (1992), starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. The first 25 minutes of the movie were filmed in this area.

So, what else do we have? Oh yes, not far from the Dingle Peninsula is Limerick City. And, and? Can you guess what movie was filmed here? Of course! Angela’s Ashes! Who hasn’tseen it (or read the book, or both)? You can visit the Frank McCourt Museum here and do an Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour too!

And perhaps on the most famous Irish movies of all time The Quiet Man filmed in the village of Cong in County Mayo in 1951 – starring John “The Duke” Wayne and of course Ireland’s own Maureen O’Hara – still a lady and beauty today! Make sure to visit theQuiet Man Cottage Museum while you are here. The museum is a novel concept which gives the visitor a real Quiet Man experience as if they were actually ‘on-set’. Located by the river at Circular Road, Cong, between actual locations used for the filming, the ground floor of the cottage has been designed as an exact replica of ‘White-o-Mornin’Cottage. The Quite Man cottage museum is a must for any Quiet Man enthusiast, or even those wishing to visit a typical Irish cottage of the 1920's. There are Quiet Man Walking Tours available as well that depart from the Cottage Museum and show locations from the film such as the dying man’s house, Innisfree, Castletown, the river fight scene,‘hats in the air’ scene, Reverend Playfairs house, Pat Cohan’s Bar and many more.


Maureen O Hara

So there we have it – just some of the great movies filmed here in Ireland. Why don’t you create your own blockbusting vacation with us? Click here to have a look at our Custom Tours of Ireland where you can pick and choose the places you would like to visit! Walk in the footsteps of the greats and re-create your favorite scenes from the movies! You may be the next big discovery!


And if you fancy staying in luxury and living like a movie-star read our blog on Ireland's best 5* star hotels!

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