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Ireland in a Snapshot: The dreamlike landscape of the northern coastline

The northern coastline of Antrim is beyond beautiful and everything in between is worth investigating, writes Donal Moloney.

Donal Moloney

EACH WEEKEND, PHOTOGRAPHER and filmmaker Donal Moloney shares an image with TheJournal.ie audience which reflects a small piece of Ireland that resonates with us all. 

Donal writes:

The first time I crossed the border into Northern Ireland, I was convinced it might be my last. It was the late 1970s and I was still in my teens.

While the troubles were less severe than had been the case in the late 1960s and early 1970s the conflict continued and I was terrified.

But my natural curiosity to explore a part of our island that had been, up until then a bit of a no go area, outweighed my fears.

Since then my love for this part of the world has grown and I’ve jumped at numerous opportunities to travel for both work and play. Such an opportunity presented itself to me recently when a friend asked if I’d like to travel to Co Down and shoot some stills for a short movie he was making called ‘Ruby’.

We have an abundance of homegrown talented movie people in Ireland and we do love to tell a good yarn. The Irish film industry is very healthy but has also attracted a lot of overseas investment due to our generous tax incentives.

Needless to say our often dreamlike landscape doesn’t do us any harm either.

On my way to the set location I happened upon a scene I hadn’t witnessed in years. A group of men threshing.


Just a few miles down the road from Downpatrick is beautiful Rossglass beach in Dundrum Bay. The movie was being shot at a small church overlooking the sea.


Anyone who’s ever been on a movie set knows that decisions on lighting, camera angles, rehearsals, props, wardrobe and make-up can mean a lot of waiting around. The story is still a secret but there’s a number of scenes where the clock is turned back.

I had noticed an old Honda 50 at the back of the church and then spotted a pretty girl being readied for her brief appearance. I could have been back in the 70s. The backdrop of the Mourne mountains was perfect. I couldn’t resist asking her to pose for just a moment. 

There are so many fantastic locations up north that it sometimes feels like I’m still discovering a new land in my own back garden.

The northern coastline of Antrim is beyond beautiful and everything in between is worth investigating. 

About the author:

Donal Moloney

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