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9 unusual Irish movie locations you may not be aware of

We all know about Star Wars, but the Skelligs aren’t the only show in town. Here are some of the unsung spots of Irish moviemaking.

OVER THE PAST few years, our little island has welcomed blockbuster film and television productions from all over the world with the likes of Skellig Michael, The Cliffs of Moher, and the Wicklow Mountains all getting their close-ups over the years.

With that in mind, we decided to round up some lesser known filming locations in Ireland you may not have known about.

1.  Tara Hall, Howth

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 11.20.47 AM Source: YouTube

Once a private residence dating back the Edwardian era, Tara Hall is now a dreamy boutique guesthouse overlooking the sea, Howth Harbour and Ireland’s Eye. A few years ago, it was featured in climactic scene of the romantic drama Love, Rosie, a film adaptation of a novel by Cecelia Ahern.

A quick gander through Twitter reveals people booking trips to the hotel off the back of seeing it in the film. There you are now.

2.  The Hoover Centre, Harold’s Cross

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 10.42.29 AM Source: Google Maps

Anyone who fell in love with the musical Once will recall that Glen Hansard’s character toiled as a hoover fixer by day. It even inspired a sweet little song in the film entitled Broken Hearted Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy. At one point in the film, we see Hansard bring his paramour to the hoover shop.

But did you know the scene was actually shot in a little hoover shop on Harold’s Cross Road? The Hoover Centre has been in the neighbourhood since the 1960s and is pretty much exactly what you see in the film.

3. Curracloe Beach, Wexford

Strandspam #curracloebeach #countywexford #travelireland #ireland

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Curracloe Beach in Co Wexford may be one of the most popular beaches in Ireland, but did you know that it has also had quite a storied Hollywood career? Not only was it featured in Brooklyn, but it famously had a starring role in Saving Private Ryan. But the latter almost never materialised.

Before production started, one of the producers was dead set on shooting in Ballyvaloo, Co Wexford until it transpired that the location wouldn’t be available when they needed it. The producer in question ended up having a pint with a Wexford County Council official who suggested he check out Curracloe. The rest, as they say, is history.

4. Toner’s, Dublin

Source: YouTube

It’s one of Dublin’s most treasured boozers, but did you know that it was once used as a filming location in a spaghetti western? The legendary Sergio Leone, widely regarded as the father of the spaghetti western, shot part of his 1971 film Duck, You Sucker! in the pub.

The film follows an Irish Republican on the run in Mexico for shooting a British soldier. Toner’s was the setting for that fairly epic shootout, which you can watch in full here.

5. Inistioge, Co Kilkenny

This quaint and picturesque village in Co Kilkenny may have a modest population, but it sure knows how to scrub up well. Yes, Inistioge has been transformed into a Hollywood film set on more than one occasion. A few years ago, it was the setting for Jim Sheridan’s adaptation of The Secret Scripture starring Rooney Mara.

But it’s arguably best remembered as one of the locations used in the iconic 1990s drama Circle of Friends. To this day, the village is home to a café called Circle of Friends. D’aw.

6. Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

#irelandonscreen18

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Not only is it one of the capital’s most historical sites, but Kilmainham Gaol has a rich history of being used on screen. At least a dozen films have been shot there over the years. Over the years, it has been featured in the likes of The Italian Job, Michael Collins, and The Wind That Shakes the Barley. More recently, Paddington 2 shot interior prison scenes there. Delightful!

7. Gaynor’s Pub, Leenane

The famous field bar #leenane #connemara #thefieldbar

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The Field is nothing short of an Irish cinematic classic. The film was shot almost entirely in Leenane with the film’s striking pub scenes being filmed on location in Gaynor’s, a local family run bar.

The pub is still standing and bills itself as ‘The Field Bar’. Nearly thirty years since the film’s release, people flock from far and wide to get their photo taken outside and to pop in for a pint of plain.

8. Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast

8/7/18

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This disused prison holds the distinction of being the last remaining Victorian prison in Northern Ireland and was reopened as a museum in 2014. More recently, the jail was used extensively as the backdrop in the gritty prison drama Starred Up starring Jack O’Connell.

9. The Cedar Lounge, Raheny

Someone come down for a pint ther with me an parky yeaahhhhh

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The Snapper is one of the most beloved movies in the Irish cinema canon. In the film, we see the Curley clan regularly go for pints in their local boozer. The pub in question was none other than The Cedar Lounge, a Raheny institution that’s still going strong today. Pop in for one and tell them Sharon sent you.

More: ‘When I started people would shout slurs’: Inside the drag scene on Ireland’s west coast>

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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