Filming location for Oscar film: Tourists storm sleepy Irish island


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Filming location for Oscar film
Tourists storm sleepy Irish island

Just 3000 people live on Achill Island off the coast of Ireland. Many people from abroad have not been interested in the island for a long time, then it becomes part of a film about Colin Farrell, which is nominated for nine Oscars. The number of visitors immediately increases rapidly.

When Colin Farrell received the Golden Globe for best actor for his role in the dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, he naturally also thanked the residents of the remote Irish islands of Achill Island and Inis Mor in his speech. That’s where the movie was shot. “We were like a big family,” the Irish actor said at the awards ceremony in Beverly Hills in January. The film has since won four awards at the British BAFTA Awards and has been nominated for nine Oscars. “Of course we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a win,” says Chris McCarthy, the tourism manager for Achill Island off the west coast of Ireland. “We would take any of the nine Oscars, we’re not picky,” he jokes.

From July to November 2021, Achill Island was unrecognizable. The fishing port setting has been transformed into a 1920s harbor street, and the rustic pub set on the windswept cliffs of the southwest coast is where much of the action takes place. As McCarthy describes, director Martin McDonagh wanted the actors to “feel the Atlantic” as soon as they step outside the pub door. “They couldn’t have done that in the studio,” explains the tourism director, while standing windswept on the same vantage point . The filming brought 1.7 million euros to Achill Island with its almost 3,000 residents, a real windfall.

Island hopes for rosy times

Now the islanders are hoping that the film will also give them a tourism boom – apparently rightly so: Whenever a video excerpt from the film goes viral on the Internet, McCarthy and his staff notice an increase in bookings. Bus operator Alan Gielty already offers tours to the filming locations. “In the past month alone, a lot of people have come to the island just to see the locations,” he says. He hopes for rosy times: “There will be a lot to do.”

Customers at McLoughlin’s Bar pose with a cutout of Colin Farrell before an Oscars night party at the Achill Island pub.

(Foto: picture alliance / empics)

The landlord of the real island pub has often been asked about the film by visitors. On the wall of Mick Lynch’s pub in a thatched stone building from the 16th century hangs as a souvenir the shearing shears that one of the main characters in “The Banshees of Inisherin” uses to cut off his own fingers. According to Lynch, star actor Brian Gleeson and Pat Shortt, who played the bartender in the film, stopped by frequently during filming. US pop star and “Banshees” fan reportedly asked Taylor Swift to rebuild the movie’s set pub so she could visit. “We don’t need that,” says pub owner Lynch. “She can come here.”

Islander Madeline Condell was an extra on the set. According to her, the whole island is in Oscar fever, and several parties are already planned for the award ceremony on Monday night. “We actually think we deserve an Oscar because of the beauty of the landscape,” she says. “Everyone who comes here falls in love with the place.”

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