Where the streets have a name . . .

New plaque commemorates movies and music videos filmed in Ringsend

By Brian Bowe

From Educating Rita (1983) to Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast (2021), Ringsend has played a key part in Ireland’s silver screen triumphs, with multiple well-known productions having used the D4 suburb as a shooting location over the last several decades. So it’s only fitting that a plaque should be installed celebrating the area’s many contributions to cinema, music video and television. 

Danny Byrne FG, Daniel Céitinn SF, Ivana Bacik Lab, Jim O’Callaghan FF, Derek Buckley Ringsend & Irishtown Lord Mayor, Chris Andrews SF

A joint project between Ringsend and District Historical Society in association with the Shelbourne Park Residents Association, the ‘In These Streets’ plaque was unveiled outside Mellon’s Shop on the South Lotts Road on Friday April 26th, and featured some local celebrities and those who appeared in the various big and small screen moments in attendance. 

“We’re getting an influx of new people in the area, and we want to bring the story of Ringsend to them,” says Eddie Bohan, Chairperson of the Ringsend and District Historical Society.

Derek Buckley, Lord Mayor Ringsend & Irishtown, Kieron Corrigan, film producer, Eddie Bohen, Ringsend and District Historical Association Chair

Our local streets have featured in some of the country’s most famous movies. South Lotts Road doubled as a Belfast Street for Jim Sheridan’s 1993 biographical drama In the Name of the Father, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis as Gerry Conlon. While John Boorman’s The General, starring Brendan Gleeson, and the 1992 family classic Into the West were also shot in Ringsend.   

Speakers at the unveiling ceremony included District Historical Society member Paul Brannock, who initiated the whole project; Lord Mayor of Ringsend and Irishtown, Derek Buckley; and film producer Kieran Corrigan (Evelyn, In the Land of Saints and Sinners), whose own speech paid tribute to the area’s rich film history:  “It’s a fantastic area … it’s a very significant part of the film industry. The locations that are here are unique. Ringsend Studios, which used to be Windmill Lane Studios, provided some of the greatest music scores in Hollywood history.” 

Corrigan then went on to praise Ringsend’s vibrant community spirit, saying, “Locations are important, but it doesn’t work unless communities get behind the making of the films, because they’re not easy things to make. This community is famous for its support of film and filmmakers in a very significant way.” Recounting a recent conversation he had with the legendary British director John Boorman, who’s lived in Ireland for over 50 years now, Corrigan says, “He said the one thing he’ll always remember is that the extras here are the most enthusiastic extras he’s ever worked with.” 

Of course, You haven’t only seen the area immortalised in movies. Local locations were also used as a backdrop for plenty of music videos. Gloria, U2’s second ever music video, features St Patrick’s Church on Thorncastle Street. Ringsend also served as a background for music videos for Boyzone, The Shoos (with lead singer Tex attending the unveiling event), and The Cranberries. The old gasometer structure in the background of The Cranberries’ hit Dreams video adds a distinctive touch to the setting.

Ringsend’s streets have provided the backdrop for unforgettable creative works over the years. And we show no sign of slowing down. With the way things are going, they’ll need to have an engraver on stand-by to add further credits to the list. 

“The Ringsend and District Historical Society would like to thank all the people of the area who came out in such large numbers to participate in the unveiling of the plaque at Mellon’s shop,” says Bohan. “It was a fantastic afternoon, and we hope you all enjoyed the event. Special thanks is due to the many people who supported our project in various ways: Shelbourne Park RA; Colm and Noirin Mellon’s; Ronan O’Donnell of DCC; Lorraine and RICC; John and Courtyard Media; Alan of John Cooke and Co.; Ken of Woodcutters; Irial of Slattery’s pub; Aaron of ShinAwiL; The Shoos; and special guest Kieran Corrigan.”