Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), together with Grainne Humphreys, Director of the Dublin International Film Festival, launched Heritage Ireland on Screen: A Guide to Filming at Ireland’s Historic Locations at Dublin Castle, the scene of many national and international film productions over the years. This practical guide for filmmakers wishing to film in Ireland showcases the beauty of our cultural heritage and the pride we take in sharing these rare and cherished places with the wider world. It will travel as an attractive, cultural passport with Ministers to locations all around the world as they meet influential audiences in more than 30 locations overseas and promote Ireland and Irish interests this St. Patrick’s Day.
Minister O’Donovan said, “the OPW cares for some 1,000 monuments and historic properties in 768 locations across Ireland, ranging from Neolithic passage tombs, medieval churches and castles, to Elizabethan manor houses, Palladian mansions, parks and gardens and monumental forts. The iconic monuments and properties in our care are significant to the identities of our towns and communities across Ireland and are a key driver of tourism and regional economic development.”
“At the same time, they also occupy an important place in a shared imagination that transcends geographic boundaries through art, literature, music and film. As custodians of many of Ireland’s most precious built treasures, our role is to build a bridge between our past, present and future by connecting more people to the richness, diversity and inspiration that exist in our heritage.”
Ireland’s relationship with cinema runs deep. Moving pictures were first shown here in 1896, and just a few months later, cameramen working for the Lumière brothers filmed the first footage of the country. Ever since then, filmmakers have flocked to Ireland, drawn by the diversity of its landscapes, the mild climate that enables filming all year round, the creative talent that resides here and, above all, by a 5000-year history that is visible across the land, from Brú na Bóinne to Bantry Bay.
Director Neil Jordan fondly recalled his experience of working with the OPW on his historical biopic starring Liam Neeson, “the filming of Michael Collins was a wonderful experience. The Office of Public Works gave me access to streetscapes and buildings of immense historical significance, from the Four Courts to College Green. The most resonant of these was Dublin Castle, which played such a significant part in the period.”
As part of our mission, the OPW is proud to offer access to our sites to filmmakers from all over the world, working closely with film crews to maintain the highest standards of safety, integrity and authenticity. Famous films from The Italian Job and Barry Lyndon to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Green Knight have been shot at OPW sites, and with this guide, superb infrastructure and great post-production studios, it has never been easier to film here.