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Famous Film Locations to Visit in Ireland

Ireland | Posted on January 18th, 2012

In the last decade Ireland has become a rather popular destination for filmmakers. With its beautiful countryside and culture it offers some fantastic backdrops for use on the silver screen. Here we run through the ten Irish locations used in classic movies.  

Angela’s Ashes – Cork and Limerick


credit: pseudoliterat

This adaptation of Frank McCourt’s memoirs recounted his childhood and having to come back from America to Ireland because of his families financial difficulties. Scenes were filmed all over Ireland notably Cork and County Limerick, both of which are full of history and have a bustling tourist trade, especially in the summer.  

Braveheart – Dunsoghly Castle, Dublin


credit: tearbringer

Movie blockbuster Braveheart, made in 1995, followed the story of historic Scottish rebel William Wallace. As well as filming in Scotland, as you would expect, many of the scenes took place in numerous Irish locations. Ironically, one scene which was apparently at Edinburgh castle in Scotland, was actually filmed at Dunsoghly Castle in Country Dublin, Ireland. This beautiful ruin, built around 1450, is one of the only castles in Ireland to retain its original roof.  

The Quiet Man – Cong, Mayo


credit: RuthannOC

This 1950’s classic used village Cong which, until the film crew descended, was a relatively quiet and unassuming village tucked away in the heart of Country Mayo. After being made famous by the film the village instated a Quiet Man museum and heritage centre to capitalise on their now well known name. A few of the residents were also used as extras in the films giving them their fifteen minutes of fame.  

Educating Rita – Trinity College in Dublin


credit: Randy OHC

Although set in Liverpool, Trinity College in Dublin was used in this 1983 film as Rita’s British university. As a lot of the film centres around Rita’s time here so the location is used throughout the film. Local actors were also used for bit parts and had to get used to using a Liverpudlian accent.  

Ryan’s Daughter – Kerry


credit: Jim Linwood

This movie was filmed almost in its entirety in Ireland with County Kerry being the main location. Kerry revelled in its new found status and people came from miles around to get a glimpse of the main actors and home-grown talent, Robert Mitchum, John Mills and Sarah Miles.  

The Matchmaker – Roundstone


credit: Donna C Green

This film was set in America and Ireland with small town Roundstone being chosen for the Irish segments. The film, which is about, you guessed it, matchmaking was met with rave reviews and many journalists credited the beautiful scenery as part of its appeal.  

Excalibur – Wicklow Mountains


credit: Koocheekoo

This 1981 film centres around the myth of `King Arthur” and used the Wicklow Mountains for many of its scenes. Wicklow Tourism have capitalised on this and now have several places of interest tourists can go and visit connected to the filming of Excalibur. One is the Excalibur Drive in which you can take your car and visit all the local filming locations.  

The Italian Job – Kilmainham


credit: Corey Leopold

Although, remade in recent years, the original version of The Italian Job will always be considered one of cinema’s greatest offerings. Most of Noel Coward’s scenes were filmed a little outside Dublin in Kilmainham, a disused prison at the time. The location, which was closed as a prison in 1924, lent itself well to the dim depressing scenes in the film. It is now a museum focusing on the Irish struggle for independence.  

High Spirits – Dromore Castle, Limerick


credit: gearomad

This comedy, featuring Hollywood heavyweights, Peter O’Toole, Liam Neeson and Daryl Hannah was filmed in some parts, at Dromore Castle, Limerick. The 1988 film focuses on ghosts, the supernatural and funnily enough, an Irish Castle.  

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold – Smithfield Market, Dublin


credit: Stéphane Moussie

Smithfield Market in Dublin was used in this 1965 adaptation of John Le Carre’s book and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton both stayed here while he worked on the film. This market still holds a historic horse market every month and until recently housed livestock around the square.  

This article was produced by hotels and B&B site, GoIreland.com

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