Why Ireland Is A Movie Mecca

Saoirse Ronan stars in Brooklyn

Whether it’s the Wild Atlantic Way or the Ancient East, Ireland is full used to seeing tourists laden with suitcases ready to enjoy the best our little land has to offer. But another increasingly common sight is planeloads of people arriving with cameras, costumes and a constellation of star talent, ready to take advantage of everything that makes our nation so fantastic for film!


Yes, there’s little doubt that Ireland punches way above its weight when it comes to the film industry – and the most recent issue of PLAY Magazine saw us take a look at just what makes us such a movie Mecca. So, in this most patriotic of weeks, raise a glass of something green to everything that makes the place we call home a player on the big screen!




When stunning backdrops are the order of the day, Ireland is very often the destination – breathtaking scenery is something we have in abundance! Whether its rolling hills, crashing waves or cobbled streets required, there’s probably a perfect option within a few hours’ drive!


Nowhere is that more obvious than on the West Coast, where loads of films have found a home. Whether the Cliffs of Moher doubling as the Cliffs of Insanity in The Princess Bride (available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99), or the rugged coastline of Co. Kerry providing the setting for Harry and Hagrid in Harry Potter(all eight movies available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €3.99), the region now known as the Wild Atlantic Way has done its bit on screen!




It’s not just the great outdoors that looks the part on camera; bucketloads of brilliant buildings have been spotted getting the big-screen treatment, too! Perhaps none are more famous than Kilmainham Jail – seen best in In The Name Of The Father (available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99).


But you don’t even need to hunt down massive tourist attractions to find spots that have shone in film; from Bray’s Carlisle Grounds, which did a convincing Croke Park in Michael Collins (available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99), to St Aidan’s Cathedral, John Street, Court Street, The Folly and Mrs Kelly’s Shop in Enniscorthy which were among the locations used in Brooklyn (available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99) – there’s bits of movie history everywhere you look!




From legendary veterans like Richard Harris to prodigious stars like Saoirse Ronan, our little land can produce acting talents like few others! Nowadays, the flag is flown by the likes of Colin Farrell (The Lobster, available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99), Barry Keoghan (American Animals, available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99) and Seana Kerslake (A Date For Mad Mary, available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99) – and you can be guaranteed that there’s a parade of young talent waiting to follow in their footsteps, too!


No wonder there’s direct flights to Los Angeles these days; we’ve got exceptional exports by the bucketload!




The Irish have long enjoyed a reputation as storytellers of some renown, and there’s plenty of evidence to support it, too! Whether the genius of writer Roddy Doyle and director Paddy Breathnach in telling the story of Rosie (available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99), or the singular talent that is John Carney and his wonderful Sing Street (available to rent now on Virgin Movies from €2.99), it seems as though terrific tales are something we’re never short of!




There’s one more reason why Ireland is the toast of Tinseltown – and it’s got to do with something you’ll never see on screen! Whether it’s the crowds that pack cinemas in towns and cities across Ireland every night, the legions of supporters flocking to festivals like the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, or everyone whose idea of a good night in is renting the latest and greatest that Hollywood has to offer, Ireland is full of super supporters of the movie world! Fan of fantastic film?


Get some inspiration for your next movie night in PLAY Magazine, with flicks featuring performances so perfect you’ll barely believe they’re acting!