Have you ever wondered why so many producers, writers or directors have chosen the Emerald Isle as a movie location? It is the same reason why many visitors from afar embrace our shores. The captivating scenery as well as the many treasures and historical features of the landscape have drawn the likes of movie directors John Ford and Steven Spielberg and their teams to shoot some well known productions.
Below we have highlighted a few movies that were shot at some of Ireland’s scenic locations.
Saving Private Ryan
An epic war movie set during World War II. The first 20 minutes of the movie were filmed at the beautiful Ballinesker Beach, Wexford (see below). The beach depicts Omaha Beach in Normandy and the arrival of the American troops on to French soil in 1944.
Filmed almost entirely by the beautiful village of Leenane which is surrounded by Killary Harbour and the Partry Mountains in Connemara, Co. Mayo. It is adapted from the play by John B Keane. Set in 1939, it tells the story of the very stubborn Bull McCabe (Richard Harris) and the fight for the field he is renting with an American stranger (Tom Berenger) who wants to buy the field to build a highway.
The Quiet Man
A thatched cottage in Tiernakill, Maam, Co. Galway was the centrepiece of John Ford’s The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O’ Hara. Most of the outdoor scenes were filmed along the stoney walls of Connemara, and on Lettergesh Beach, West Galway. Today, the village of Cong has very much become a tourist attraction. The village has recreated the set of The Quiet Man and has a museum which is an exact replica of White O’Morn’s cottage featured in the movie. This place is definitely worth a visit.
The Force Awakens features the rock of Skellig Michael and the magnificent views of The Wailing Woman, Christ’s Saddle, and the monastery, and the 100 stone steps built by monks. This splendid terrain lies in isolation more than 11km in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Kerry.
Game of Thrones
It is the valleys, mountains, forests and moorlands around Northern Ireland that form the scenic backdrops for the HBO series The Game of Thrones. It features Tollymore Forest Park, County Down as the Haunted Forest. The Mourne Mountains are the dramatic foothills entering Vaes Dothrak. An abundance of castles is used for filming the fantasy series. Shane’s Castle in Co. Antrim and Castle Ward were featured for jousting tournaments and the house of Stark. GoT is made up of many coastal odysseys. The port for the Iron Island is in fact Ballintroy Harbour, Co. Antrim a very popular area for fishing and boating. This harbour is close to the iconic Giant’s Causeway.
Although the movie is about William Wallace (played by Mel Gibson) and Scotland’s fight for Independence, most of the battle scenes were filmed at the Curragh, Co. Kildare, and at Trim Castle, Co. Meath
The beauty of the Irish landscape has captivated the minds of so many to write or film and show to the rest of the world. However there is so much more to explore. See it for yourself by stepping on board our Shannon Princess. Join us on a journey of a life time where you can explore the open waters and enjoy the natural surroundings of the Irish countryside. See our website and choose an itinerary that interests you.