When Colin Farrell received the Golden Globe for best actor for his role in the dark comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, his speech naturally also thanked the residents of the remote Irish islands of Achill Island and Inis Mor, where the film was filmed. "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.
"Obviously we're keeping our fingers crossed for a win," says Chris McCarthy, the tourism manager for Achill Island off Ireland's west coast. "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 stepped outside the pub door. "They couldn't have produced that in the studio," explains the head of tourism, while he's standing on the same vantage point in a storm.
The filming brought 1.7 million euros to Achill Island with its almost 3000 residents, a real windfall. Now the islanders are hoping that the film will also complain about a tourism boom - apparently rightly so: Whenever a video excerpt from the film or the acceptance speech of one of the film's honorees spreads on the Internet, McCarthy and his employees 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."
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 already in Oscar fever, and several parties are already planned for the night of the Oscars on March 12th. "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."