Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The list keeps growing now over 71

There have been many movies about Ireland that are not actually filmed in Ireland.  There are also movies that are filmed in Ireland but are not about Ireland such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Barry Lyndon, The Italian Job and King Arthur to name a few.

I have spent many years collecting my favourite movies about Ireland and this is my personal list of the best Irish movies (that are actually filmed in Ireland and are about Ireland) to watch and to feed your need for that wicked sense of Irish humour a bit of craic and some incredible vistas and landscapes.

Ireland in movies one of the many cast of characters in Star Wars filmed on the shores of Skellig Michal

These Irish movies, or filems as the Irish call them are all set in Ireland and filmed in Ireland movies – it is not meant to be definitive by any stretch of the imagination but I have seen all of these and although some are not brilliant pieces of cinematic art they can be great fun, tragic, educational and above all will allow you to see Ireland in all its glory, good and bad.

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Kylemore Abbey, beautiful castle like abbey reflected in lake at the foot of a mountain. Benedictine monastery founded in 1920, in Connemara, Ireland. Irish movies

Ryan’s Daughter is also not included in this list as it is a film about an English Romance. However it is credited with kick-starting Dingle’s, and indeed Irish, tourism through a three-hour international advert worth its weight in gold. Ryan’s Daughter also brought a profound social and economic change to a region ravaged by emigration and pervasive poverty from which fishing and hardscrabble farming were the only escape.

A view to the Sperrins from Clady, near Magherafelt. The Sperrins Region is located in the centre of Northern Ireland, stretching from the western shoreline of Lough Neagh in County Tyrone to the southern portions of County Londonderry. The distinctive glaciated landscape of the Sperrins constitutes one of the most idyllic geographical areas of rural Ireland and has many waymarked ways and cycle routes.

Are you planning your trip to Ireland – here is everything you need to know

There’s lots more information to be had on this site if you love Ireland as I do. Have a little fun with my Dublin Don’ts and Dublin Do’s before you go and check out the neighbourhoods in Dublin or where to dine.

How to find your ancestors in Glasnevin cemetery

Would you like to move to Ireland?

Ireland in movies

No Irish movies list would be worth anything without beginning with the classic Irish film starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Probably the most famous of Irish movies…..not to mention the greatest Irish movie of all time some would say….

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The Quiet Man

In one of the classic Irish movies – a retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love. If you can like the Facebook page for The Quiet Man – they are working to save the cottage used in the film which was abandoned and left to rot for several years.


Take the opportunity when you visit Ireland to stop at the home of the Quiet Man Cong 

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Agnes Brown

The unexpected death of her husband sends a woman and her seven children, ages 2-14, into emotional turmoil and financial crisis in 1967 Dublin. The TV series Mrs Brown’s Boys was based on this movie, written by Brendan O’Carroll who now stars as Mrs Brown in the wildly popular TV show. One of my personal favourite Irish movies.


Wild Mountain Thyme

Wild Mountain Thyme features Emily Blunt, Jamie Dornan, Jon Hamm, Dearbhla Molloy, and Christopher Walken, was captured against the stunning backdrop of County Mayo. This heartwarming romantic comedy takes audiences on a captivating journey. The film was written by John Patrick Shanley who also wrote Joe Against the Volcano and Doubt.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The film’s unfolds in idyllic settings such as the charming Hiney’s pub and the inviting Thatch Inn nestled in Crossmolina. The magical allure of the Mount Falcon Estate in Ballina sets the stage for many memorable moments.

With its delightful blend of romance, humor, and terrible Irish accents, “Wild Mountain Thyme” is set against the backdrop of County Mayo’s most picturesque spots.


The Academy Award-winning film, Belfast, directed and written by Kenneth Branagh, and with an amazing soundtrack, is a semi-autobiographical film, narrated by the youngest child of a working-class family, which chronicles life during the tumultuous late 1960s in Northern Ireland’s capital city.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the film sets were built outside London. Despite this, the production moved to Belfast after filming in London, and the aerial shots of present-day Belfast – which appear at the beginning and end of the film – were, of course, filmed in Belfast.

Saving Private Ryan

The famous opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, which is set on D-Day on Omaha beach, were actually filmed in County Wexford. Filming lasted for two months and took place on Ballinesker Beach, Curracloe Strand. The Irish Defense Forces supplied 2,500 men to act as extras.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In a dramatic scene, Harry Potter and Professor Dumbledore are battling with evil. The Cliff scenes are filmed at the Cliffs of Moher and when we see the two of them poised on a rock that is Lemon Rock in County Kerry.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Leap Year

Anna Brady plans to travel to Dublin, Ireland to propose marriage to her boyfriend Jeremy on Leap Day, because, according to Irish tradition, a man who receives a marriage proposal on a leap day must accept it. The film was shot in County Wicklow, Dublin, County Mayo and County Galway, with filming taking place in and around the Aran Islands, Connemara, Temple Bar, Georgian Dublin, Wicklow National Park and Olaf Street, Waterford.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland
Wicklow National Park lake


This fantasy film, based on the Arthurian legends, was filmed in locations across Ireland, including County Wicklow. Excalibur is a 1981 epic medieval fantasy film that retells the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. It stars Nigel Terry as Arthur, Nicol Williamson as Merlin, Nicholas Clay as Lancelot, Cherie Lunghi as Guenevere, Helen Mirren as Morgana, Liam Neeson as Gawain, Gabriel Byrne as Uther and Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance. 

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Far and Away

My least favourite Irish movie with the godawful accents of Cruise and Kidman this move was dreadful. Joseph (Tom Cruise) and his landlord’s daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman), travel from Ireland to America in hopes of claiming free land in Oklahoma. The pair get sidetracked in Boston, where Joseph takes up boxing to support himself. Ardmore Studios in Wicklow was used to film interior sequences, along with some scenes on the Dingle Peninsula and the streets of Boston were filmed in Dublin.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The Princess Bride

This 1987 fairy tale tells the story of heroes whose goal is to rescue a beautiful princess, Buttercup. They are followed by a masked man in black across the sea and up the Cliffs of Insanity which are really the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

My list of the top 40 Movies to watch before you visit Ireland

The Italian Job

In this 1969 classic, starring Michael Caine, all of the jail scenes were actually filmed in Kilmainham Jail, in Dublin.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Barry Lyndon

A 1975 Stanley Kubrick classic tells the story of an Irish rogue who goes off and joins the British Army. The Germany Military encampment scenes were filmed at Cahir Castle, County Tipperary, and the British Redcoat scenes were filmed in Kells, County Meath.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

PS I Love You

A young widow discovers that her late husband has left her 10 messages intended to help ease her pain and start a new life. Ignore Gerard’s lousy Irish accent. County Wicklow locations include Blessington Lakes, Lacken, Wicklow Mountains and The Sally Gap.


Waking Ned Devine

When a lottery winner dies of shock, his fellow townsfolk attempt to claim the money. Not actually filmed in Ireland but it is one of the great Irish movies nevertheless. The film was shot on the Isle of Man, with the village of Cregneash standing in for the fictional Irish village of Tulaigh Mhór.


American Women or The Closer You Get

Irish lads send an ad to the Miami Herald inviting fit and enticing women, between the ages of 20 and 21, to live in their isolated Donegal village. Filmed in Kincasslagh which is where the famous Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell hails from. We found this movie by accident and it has become one of our favourites in our list of Irish movies.


Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The Boys & Girl from County Clare

In 1965, Jimmy McMahon and his group of Liverpudlians plot to win the annual céilí music competition in Ireland. Sadly most of this was filmed on the Isle of Man.



1953. Desmond Doyle is devastated when his wife abandons their family on the day after Christmas. His unemployment and the fact that there is no woman in the house to care for the children.


Circle of Friends

‘Circle Of Friends’ is set in 1950’s Ireland. The movie focuses on Benny Hogan and her best friend, Eve Malone. The story centres around Benny and Eve as they enter student life at Trinity Uni.


Into the West

Grandpa Ward gives a horse he found to his grandchildren, who keep it in their tower-block flat in Dublin. The horse is stolen from them, and the two young boys set out to find it and flee on it. Filming locations included: Wicklow Mountains, Ballymun, Dublin, and the beaches of Mayo and Connemara.


Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The Playboys

A young woman, Tara Maguire (Robin Wright) scandalizes her provincial Irish village in the 1950s by having a baby out of wedlock and refusing to name the father. This was filmed in the writer’s home village of Redhills, County Cavan.

Dancing at Lughnasa

Five unmarried sisters make the most of their simple existence in rural Ireland in the 1930s. Dancing was filmed in the Wicklow Mountains and is part of the Irish Movie Tour in the area.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Rory O’Shea: Inside I’m Dancing

When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael and encourages him to experience life outside the confines of home.


5 Minutes of Heaven

The story of former UVF member Alistair Little. Twenty-five years after Little killed Joe Griffen’s brother, the media arrange an auspicious meeting between the two.


High Spirits

When Peter Plunkett’s Irish castle turned hotel is about to be repossessed, he decides to spice up the attraction a bit for the ‘Yanks’ by having his staff pretend to haunt the castle. Dromore Castle, County Limerick, stood in for Castle Plunkett in the film.


Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland
©Drow69 CC BY-SA 3.0 creative commons

An Everlasting Piece

Colm is a Catholic and George is a poetry-loving Protestant. In Belfast in the 1980s, they could have been enemies…


Breakfast on Pluto 

In the 1970s, a young trans woman, Patrick “Kitten” Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because her gender identity is beyond the town’s understanding.



A New York playwright is summoned to Ireland to bury his father (his “Da”). Filmed in Dalkey and Bray county Dublin.

Dublin to Bray train running along the coastline of Ireland - travelling Ireland without a car


Fifty Dead Men Walking 

Based on Martin McGartland’s shocking real-life story. The film is set from 1988 until 1991, the time in which McGartland acted as an undercover agent within the IRA during The Troubles. In 1991, his cover was blown and he was kidnapped by the IRA, although he later escaped from interrogation and execution, and went into hiding.


Good Vibrations 

A chronicle of Terri Hooley’s life, a record-store owner instrumental in developing Belfast’s punk-rock scene.


In the Name of the Father 

A man’s coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.


Michael Collins 

Movies about Irish independence – Neil Jordan’s historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War. Try to ignore the absolutely horrendous accent of Julia Roberts.


Michael Collins memorial at Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery
Michael Collins memorial at Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery

My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown 

This is one of the best Irish movies of all time – Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb – his left foot.



An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie. Filmed in the gorgeous area of County Cork, Bere Island, Dursey Island and Puleen were some of the locations.


Want some different do’s when visiting Dublin?


A modern-day musical about a busker and an immigrant and their eventful week in Dublin, as they write, rehearse and record songs that tell their love story.


Shopping in Dublin's Grafton Street which features in many Ireland in movies. Shoppers pass by a colourful flower stall weighed down by lots of shopping bags.
Grafton Street, where buskers play all-day


A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in an Irish laundry.


Some Mother’s Son 

Based on the true story of the 1981 hunger strike in a British prison, in which IRA prisoner Bobby Sands. This was filmed in Skerries, Fingal and around County Dublin.


Sing Street 

A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes. John Carney, the director of Once, directs this film set in his hometown about teenagers – played by actors and actresses Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jack Reynor, Kelly Thornton and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo – who form a band in the 1980s. 


The Boxer 

Young Danny Flynn is released from prison after 14 years after “taking the rap” for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighbourhood.


The Commitments

Directed by Alan Parker, this musical comedy-drama film recreates the story of a charismatic soul band from Dublin called The Commitments. Voted “Best Irish film of all time” in a 2005 poll the movie was filmed on locations all across Dublin City: Saint Francis Xavier Church, Kilbarrack D.A.R.T. Station, the Darndale area on the Northside of Dublin, upstairs at the Camden Deluxe Hotel (the band’s rehearsal space), and Mansion House on Dawson Street.

In the film, the Mansion house becomes the fictional Westley Hotel where the band’s manager, Jimmy, hopes to meet soul legend, Wilson Pickett.


The Field 

“Bull” McCabe’s family has farmed a field for generations, sacrificing endlessly for the sake of the land. The ambush scene was filmed at Aasleagh Falls which is just north of Leenane village. The Falls are actually in Mayo and are part of the estuary of the River Erriff, which flows past Leenane and into Killary Harbour, home of Ireland’s only Fjord, where much of the film was made.


Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland
Ireland’s only true Fjord at Killary

The Guard 

An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.  This was filmed dominantly in Lettermore,  Galway.  Filming took place over a six-week period in Connemara, Leitir Móir, Leitir Mealláin (Lettermullen), An Spidéal, and Bearna with some scenes for filming in Wicklow and Dublin.


The Wind That Shakes the Barley 

Against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, two brothers fight a guerrilla war against British forces. Filmed mainly in West Cork around the town of Brandon.


The Crying Game 

A British soldier is kidnapped by IRA terrorists. He befriends one of his captors, who is drawn into the soldier’s world.


The MatchMaker

Marcy is an assistant to Senator John McGlory, who is having problems with a re-election campaign. Desperate for Irish votes. The Matchmaker was filmed in Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway in particular Roundstone.


Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland
The prettiest villages and towns in Ireland, Roundstone

The Secret of Roan Inish 

10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. The Secret of Roan Inish was filmed on the rugged coastline of Donegal, near Portnoo and Rossbeg, in northwestern Ireland. The perfect Irish children’s movie.


Titanic Town

A Belfast housewife takes up the peace cause which causes her family trouble with IRA sympathizers.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Veronica Guerin 

An Irish journalist writes a series of stories about drug dealers.


The Van 

The third instalment of Irish author Roddy Doyle’s ‘Barrytown Trilogy’, following ‘The Commitments and ‘The Snapper’.

The Snapper

Set in Ireland, Sharon Curley is a 20-year-old living with her parents and many brothers and sisters.


Eat the Peach

Two young Irish men are watching an old Elvis Presley movie in which a carnival cyclist performs an act called the Wall of Death. Transfixed, they decide to put together their own “Wall of Death.”


War of the Buttons

The children of Ballydowse & Carrickdowse engage in battles in which they cut off the buttons, shoe laces, belts and braces of their captured opponents. This gets their opponents in trouble with their parents. They go to battle in mass groups of dozens, wielding sticks & Slingshots. It’s a battle of strategic skills for the opposing leaders, Including one scene in which the principal gang uses an ancient war trick to overcome their opponents with successful and itchy results.


A Love Divided

The true story of a Catholic man and his Protestant wife, and the events resulting in the Co. Wexford, Ireland community when the wife decides she doesn’t appreciate being forced to send their daughter to a Catholic school, despite the local priest’s insistence she is bound by the pre-marriage agreement she signed to raise any children as Catholic.


The Treaty

This is another great Irish movie that a reader brought to my attention. Sadly I can’t find it anywhere to watch or purchase so I’m going to check my local library you never know your luck.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

In 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty between the unrecognised Irish Republic and the British government is concluded after high-stakes negotiations. It stars Julian Fellowes (he of Downton Abbey fame) plays Churchhill,  and Brendan Gleeson plays Michael Collins. It was a made-for-TV movie as an  RTÉ – BBC co-production.

This is my Father

“Widowed Kieran Johnson is a lonely, middle-aged, Chicago-based high school history teacher who feels disconnected to his life. He decides to take a trip to his mother’s small old hometown of Kilronan, County Galway, Ireland after he discovers an old photograph of her, she who now cannot speak due to a stroke, with a man he has never seen.”

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The film features Aiden Quinn and James Caan, Stephen Rea and John Cusack. Filmed in Ballynockam Wicklow, Dublin, Offaly and County Kildare. Again another one I can’t find so I’m checking the library.

How to Cheat on the Leaving Cert

Another reader favourite How to Cheat on the Leaving Cert is a 1998 independent Irish film directed by Graham Jones, in which six teenagers devise a plan to cheat in their Leaving Certificate final school examinations. The film was shot in black and white after being hailed by critics it was sent out on theatrical distribution. Many well known Irish faces made cameo appearances and some commentators regard the 2004 American film, The Perfect Score, as a remake.

Black 47

This film took over €1 million in the Irish box office making it the highest-grossing Irish film of the year. Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family.

Black ’47 was filmed in Galway, Wicklow and County Kildare. Harristown House in Brannockstown, County Kildare was used for the Irish Constabulary barracks. Russborough House and Hollywood Village in Wicklow were central to many of the scenes. Connemara in Galway was used as the vast unspoiled backdrop for the rural scenes.


A brilliant film on the housing crisis in Ireland. Rosie is trying to keep her family together when the landlord sells the house she is renting and as a result, she becomes homeless. Filmed in and around Dublin.


Focusing on the 1981 hunger strikes by Republican prisoners in Northern Ireland. Bobby Sands is one of a group of prisoners who first “took to the blanket” with a “dirty protest” in pursuit of their claims for recognition as political prisoners. Sands then became the first one of the group to embark on a hunger strike that was to end in his death.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland


Young Irish immigrant Eilis Lace (Saoirse Ronan) navigates her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City. Another movie that used Curracloe as a filming location.

Jihad Jane

Filmed in Waterford and the US. In March 2010, two American women, including one who named herself ‘Jihad Jane’, were arrested in a number of high-profile arrests in Waterford, Ireland. Facing huge jail sentences, the two women pleaded guilty but now for the first time ever, with unprecedented access, Jihad Jane tells the story of the most absurd terror cell ever to come together.

Calm with Horses

Filmed across Clare, Galway City and Galway County ex-boxer Arm has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack. Torn between these two families, Arm is asked to kill for the first time, and his attempt to do the right thing endangers everyone he holds dear.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Sea Fever

The crew of a West of Ireland trawler, marooned at sea, struggle for their lives against a growing parasite in their water supply. A good deal of the film was made at  Ardmore Studios in Bray, Ireland. All of the scenes that take place inside the boat have been filmed in the studio. The production also took to several locations on the west coast of Ireland, including Clare and Galway along with the east coast specifically  Wicklow Harbor.

When all is ruin once again

This is a documentary filmed over 7 years across Galway. 2010: a new motorway ploughs through a community in the west of Ireland, a glaring symbol of our modern age. Over the next 7 years the film weaves an epic tapestry of reflections from bog-lands, fire-sides, race tracks and hurling pitches; all while the country is hit by the worst economic crisis it has ever faced and the realisation that the way we are living on the planet is no longer sustainable dawns.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Dating Amber

Set in Ireland during the mid-90s, two closeted teenagers decide to stage a relationship in order to stop everyone from speculating about their sexuality. Filmed in Dublin


Shot in Bray, Co Wicklow and with some Dublin scenes, this ensemble cast includes Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, Kelly McDonald and Colm Meaney romping through a Dublin cast as a criminal’s playground. This dark comedy has it all. A tale of Double-decker buses crashing, revenge, kidnappings and ransom demands abound.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland


In a dark Catholic confessional, an unseen man tells Father James he was horribly sexually abused as a child by a priest, promising to kill James at the beach the next Sunday (James is a good man whose death will hurt the Church more than would the death of an abusive priest). James has a week to arrange his affairs. His bishop leaves it to James to decide whether to notify the police.

Calvary was filmed on location in Sligo in 2012 and the film is enhanced by the beautifully wild backdrop that Yeats Country provides. You can take a day trip to visit some of the filming locations around Sligo including Streedagh Beach, Benbulben Mountain, Lissadell, Rockwood Parade, Easkey, Ballisodare and Strandhill.

Odd Man Out

Odd Man Out is a 1947 British film noir directed by Carol Reed, and starring James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack, and Kathleen Ryan. Set in a Northern Irish city, it follows a wounded Nationalist leader who attempts to evade police in the aftermath of a robbery. It is based on the 1945 novel of the same name by F. L. Green.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The bar set was based on the Crown Bar in Belfast; contrary to some sources, it was a studio set built at D&P Studios in Denham, Buckinghamshire, and was not filmed in the real Crown. However, much of the film was shot on location: Exterior scenes were shot in West Belfast, although some were shot at Broadway Market in London.

Shake Hands with the Devil

Shake Hands with the Devil is a 1959 film starring James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Wynter, Glynis Johns and Michael Redgrave. The picture was filmed in Dublin, and at Ardmore Studios in Bray, Ireland. The picture was based on the 1933 novel of the same title by Rearden Conner, the son of a Royal Irish Constabulary policeman.

The film is set in 1921 Dublin, where the Irish Republican Army battles the Black and Tans, ex-British soldiers sent to suppress the rebels.


Ulysses is a 1967 drama film loosely based on James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses. It concerns the meeting of two Irishmen, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, in 1904 Dublin. The film was shot on location in Dublin on a modest budget. Although the novel is set in 1904, the film portrays the city as it was in the 1960s.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The Dead

Legendary director John Huston was seriously ailing when he came to film this James Joyce story. Although it’s set in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, the interiors for what turned out to be his final film were shot in a warehouse in Valencia, on I-5 north of Los Angeles.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The exteriors, though, really are Dublin. The house is, as specified in the original story, 15 Ushers Island, on the south quays of the River Liffey, at the James Joyce Bridge (opened in 2003) to Blackhall Place. Other genuine Irish locations include the Halfpenny Bridge over the Liffey; Temple Bar; Anglesea Street and Henrietta Street.

Rising of the Moon

A new one added to the list by a reader from 1956 this movie is based on a story by Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory “The Rising of the Moon” many local Limerick people were hired as extras and there is also a scene (at 1:00 in the trailer) where the Limerick Castle can be seen.

This film contains three vignettes of old Irish country life, based on a series of short stories. In the first “The Majesty of the Law,” a police officer must arrest a very old-fashioned, traditional fellow for assault. The second “One Minute’s Wait” is about a little train station and glimpses into the lives of the passengers. The final episode is “1921” and is about a condemned Irish nationalist and his daring escape. Sadly a difficult one to find on DVD but you might be able to track it down through your local library.

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

From Skellig Michael in Co. Kerry to Malin Head and the Inishowen Peninsula in the far north of Donegal Star Wars has made an impact on the West coast of Ireland.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland
Skellig Michael, beehive cells and Small Skellig

Of course, the latest in the Star Wars tales have brought fame to an oft-overlooked area of Ireland called Malin Head in Donegal  Star Wars: Episode VIII  this is a film that recently opened and appears to be on everyone’s Christmas must-see list

These days the Irish Tourist Board is heavily promoting the Star Wars franchise in Ireland and to that end have recently re-named the motorway which leads to Malin Head where Star Wars was filmed the R2D2 highway.

photo of R2D2 and C3Pio at the newly named R2D2 road in Ireland
From the ©Irish Times article

Honourable mentions Irish TV shows

The Fall

 A psychological thriller set and filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Starring Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson as a detective superintendent who battles her own personal demons as she tries to get inside the head of a serial killer hiding behind a family-man facade.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Derry Girls

This popular sitcom is set in Derry, Northern Ireland, and is filmed on location in the city. Incredibly funny this is written by Lisa McGee who lived in Derry during the turbulent troubles.

Derry girls mural

Derry Murals: The People’s Gallery Bogside Derry

The Tudors

The Jonathan Rhys Meyers, TV series, The Tudors was shot in Ireland. Locations they’ve used include Ardmore Studios and Powerscourt Estate, County Wicklow and Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Jail and the People’s Gardens in Dublin.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

Game of Thrones

An entire industry has been built in Northern Ireland around the Game of Thrones saga. From Castle Ward in Co. Down to the Caves of Cunshendall and the Harbour at Ballintoy.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

As a superfan I needed to visit every single Game of Thrones location in Ireland and this monster itinerary is the result. How to visit every GOT location in N. Ireland

Vikings the HBO Series

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

In Ireland’s Ancient East, the beautiful Co Wicklow settings of Luggala and the Poulaphouca Reservoir have featured in Irish-Canadian historical drama Vikings.

Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland

The Viking’s filming has created a huge buzz here in Ireland and thousands turn up for casting sessions to appear as extras. The majority of the filming is done south of Dublin in the Wicklow Mountains and on the Guinness Estate. 

You can visit most of these places and see cinematic views of Ireland with your own eyes with a guided tour.

So there you have it my favourite Irish movies and some that my readers have suggested that I am working on watching. This is a great list to get you set for your visit to the Emerald Isle.

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Ireland in movies: Filmed in Ireland and about Ireland


  • Faith was born in Ireland raised in Canada and has lived in over 10 countries in Europe including England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Northern Ireland, Wales, along with Mexico, Antigua, the US and has slow travelled to over 40 countries around the world. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies Faith is a student of history, culture, community and food and has written about these topics for over 40 years.

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