The Banshees of Inisherin is one of the biggest film surprises of this year and a major Oscars contender with 9 Academy Award nominations for January 2023. This makes it the record-nominated Irish movie of all times!
It already won 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy.
This movie set on an island in Ireland during the Irish Civil War times in 1923 was entirely filmed in Ireland.
Do you want to visit Ireland and want to know all about The Banshees of Inisherin filming locations, including where the cast stayed and cool trivia? Read on, we have all the information here with the exact Google Maps locations and tips on how to get there.
Here is your comprehensive Banshees of Inisherin Ireland filming locations guide without major spoilers.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Banshees of Inisherin Filming Locations Ireland
- 2 Where was The Banshees of Inisherin Filmed in Ireland?
- 3 The Banshees of Inisherin Achill Island Filming Locations Overview
- 4 The Banshees of Inisherin Inis Mór Filming Locations Overview
- 5 The Banshees of Inisherin FAQ
- 6 Ireland Filming Location Guides
The Banshees of Inisherin Filming Locations Ireland
The Banshees of Inisherin is arguably one of the best and most successful Irish films in recent years. What distinguishes it from earlier movies directed by Martin McDonagh (for example Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or In Bruges) is its distinct Irishness.
Not only are the cast and director Irish, but also its setting on Inisherin, a fictional mythical island (translated from Irish into English ‘island of Ireland’), is as Irish as it gets.
Take the wild coastal stretches, the magnificent mountains, ruins of ancient society, the little hedgerows and fields.
Then add to this backdrop a tragicomic story about the meaning of life, friendship and despair by top-notch director Martin McDonagh.
And now have this acted out by some of the best Irish actors such as Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, Barry Keoghan, Kerry Condon and Co.
The result is a sublime work of art. If you haven’t watched it already, you certainly should.Absolutely worth watching!
If you wonder ‘Where was The Banshees of Inisherin filmed’, we have you covered. This guide tells you all about the filming locations of The Banshees of Inisherin. We will show you exactly where to find each spot and how to get there.
Are you ready? Let’s Go!
Where was The Banshees of Inisherin Filmed in Ireland?
In an interview Martin McDonagh said that “we just wanted to make one of the most beautiful Irish films we could possibly make.”
For that he needed the most beautiful filming locations.
Martin McDonagh’s movie The Banshees of Inisherin was filmed on various locations on Inis Mór (anglicised Inishmore) on the Aran Islands in County Galway and on Achill Island in County Mayo. Both locations are on the west coast of Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way and underscore the mood of The Banshees of Inisherin.
Why was The Banshees filmed in two different locations?
McDonagh filmed the movie in two different locations that are visually distinct from each other to underscore the difference between the two main characters: “Colin is marked in one type of terrain, Brendan’s in another.”
The fiddle-player Colm is poetic and artistic and wants to leave something meaningful behind once he is dead. In contrast, the cow-herder Pádraic is content with his island existence and daily parochial life on a rural Irish island of the 1920s.
The landscape is one of rural solitude. Achill Island’s impressive mountains add an awe-inspiring atmosphere of drama to the movie. The ancient traces of civilization, for example Dún Aonghasa on Inis Mór, heighten the main character Colm’s contemplations of the meaning of his own life.
The Banshees filming first took place on Inis Mór on the Aran Islands. Then the crew and cast moved to Achill Island and filmed there.
Here we will cover the Banshees Achill filming locations first, as they seem slightly more prominent and significant in the movie.
The Banshees of Inisherin Achill Island Filming Locations Overview
Filming The Banshees of Inisherin on Achill Island took place in September and October of 2021 and lasted five weeks. Several filming locations all over Achill were used, such as Cloughmore in the south, Dugort in the north and Keem Beach, Corrymore Lake and Purteen Harbour in the west of the island.
During that time the crew was fortunate with the weather, as it almost did not rain at all.
Below you will find a detailed guide to each of the Banshees of Inisherin filming locations on Achill Island.
J.J. Devine’s Pub The Banshees of Inisherin Cloughmore
J.J. Devine’s Pub can be described as a “major character” in the story.
The pub scenes are essential for the movie, as you get a feel for the social life and community of Inisherin during times of Civil War during the early 1920s in Ireland.
You might find it sad and surprising that the Devine pub itself does not exist (anymore) and was completely built from scratch for the movie by the distinguished production designer Mark Tildesley.
Martin McDonagh explains why the pub was built in the location in an interview: “You don’t just find a house on the island. You build a house in the perfect place to see the perfect vista, similar with the pub. […] But we just found the most scenic road, cliff road, which had vistas and mountains, each going each direction, and just built it and literally kind of angled it, so through the doorway, you would see the most of that scenery.”
Both main actors Brendan Gleeson (Colm) and Colin Farrell (Pádraic) were also stunned by the location.
Gleeson congratulated Martin McDonagh for the choice of location and Farrell said: “It was the balls of Martin and the production designer to put this pub – which is no longer there – on this bluff where next stop, 20 feet away, was the Atlantic and a drop off, and cliffs and waves that were coming in constantly just outside the pub door.”
The pub made such an impression on people that even Taylor Swift really “wanted to go there” and would love the idea for it to be rebuilt and then visit it in the future.
Where is J.J. Devine’s Pub in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
The location of the fictional pub, J.J. Devine’s, is on the Atlantic Drive in Achill at Cloughmore. It’s located about 4 min drive (1 mile) northwest of Cloughmore Main Pier. Here is the exact location on Google Maps.
Cloughmore Crossroad with Holy Mary Statue The Banshees of Inisherin
If you travel slightly less than 1 mile northwest on the Atlantic Drive in Achill from J.J. Devine’s Pub, then you will approach a fork in the road. In the movie a Statue of the Virgin Mary was placed there as a film prop. This stretch of road is the filming location for several road scenes, such as Pádraic’s walk with the donkey Jenny and the cart journey with Colm and Pádraic.
Where is the Crossroads in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Here you find the exact location on Google Maps of the crossroads seen in the film The Banshees of Inisherin.
St. Thomas’s Church in Dugort The Banshees of Inisherin
The mass scenes of The Banshees of Inisherin were filmed in and around St. Thomas’s Church in Dugort (or Doogort) in the north of Achill Island. If you manage to visit this 19th century Church of Ireland, please be aware that this church is only open during worship service times and normally not open for general public visits. Please be respectful of this place of worship.
Where is the church in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Here is the exact location of the Banshees of Inisherin church on Achill Island.
Purteen Harbour The Banshees of Inisherin
Some of the most vivid and lively scenes take place at Purteen Harbour, which is located a short distance south of Keel in the southwest of the island.
At Purteen Harbour the Banshees of Inisherin village scenes were shot including Mrs. O’Riordan’s shop and the Post Office. These and the facades of the street front were all built for the film and later again dismantled.
Where is the village in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Here is the exact location how to get to Purteen Harbour on Achill Island.
Colm’s cottage on Keem Bay The Banshees of Inisherin
Keem Bay, also known as Keem Beach, is the location of The Banshees of Inisherin beach scenes and the final scene of the movie. At Keem Beach is also the location of Colm Doherty’s cottage. This cottage is a pre-existing fisherman’s hut and still stands to this day. Of course the production company embellished it a bit for the film.
Please note that this cottage is a private building and not open to the public.
Did you know? The interior scenes of the Colm’s cottage were shot off-site and not inside the building itself.
Where is the beach in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Keem Bay can be found on the west coast of Achill Island just past Dooagh village. If you manage to visit Achill, this beach is a must-visit. Not only is it a Blue Flag beach, if you are lucky you can also spot basking sharks (not dangerous to people) or dolphins in the beautifully blue waters from the shore.
This is the exact location where you find Keem Bay.
Corrymore Lake The Banshees of Inisherin
Lough Acorrymore, also known as Corrymore Lake, on Achill Island is where Mrs McCormick’s cottage is located. Here also one of the major tragedies in the film takes place.
This lake was formed through the process of glaciation and its dark waters are stunningly nestled into the mountainside close to Achill’s most westerly peak, Croughaun.
Did you know? With a height of 688 metres or 2,257 ft, Croughaun features the officially highest sea cliffs of Ireland and the third highest cliffs in Europe.
Where is the lake in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Corrymore Lake is definitely off the grid and not on a lot of tourist radars (unless the popularity of the movie will change this). It might also be a bit tricky to find at first. If you drive towards Keem Bay, watch out for a sign saying ‘Lough Acorrymore and Water Treatment Works’ and turn right. Then follow that road for about a mile.
Here is the exact location on Google Maps.
Where did the cast of The Banshees of Inisherin stay on Achill?
While shooting on Achill Island, the cast booked out a lot of the private accommodations on the island. The main cast and crew of The Banshees of Inishfree stayed at the Mulranny Park Hotel in Westport on the mainland. Mulranny Park Hotel is the closest 4-star-hotel to Achill Island.
Fun Fact: One room is renamed after John Lennon, as Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed in the hotel in 1968.
The Banshees of Inisherin Inis Mór Filming Locations Overview
Filming The Banshees of Inisherin on Inis Mór on the Aran Islands in County Galway off the west coast of Ireland began in August of 2021 and lasted three weeks.
The Aran Islands are an official Gaeltacht region in Ireland, which means that it is a place where the Irish locals predominantly speak the Irish language. Road signs and place names are mostly in Irish too. Inis Mór (anglicised Inishmore) is Irish and means ‘big island’. In this article we try to use the Irish names.
Inis Mór was the first filming location for the movie. In a promotional clip for the movie Martin McDonagh explains why he picked this location. “Inis Mór has, for Irish people especially, a lot of mythical and literary association.”
It was, for example, on the Aran Islands where the revered Irish writer J.M. Synge attempted to capture authentic Ireland in his writings and called the Aran Islands “the last outpost of ancient Europe”.
Brendan Gleeson also called it “an extraordinarily harsh place with all this bare limestone rock”, but also noted that “there is a softness about it.”
Because of this strangely beautiful mix between harshness and softness, Inis Mór makes the perfect setting for this movie.
Several filming locations all over Inis Mór were used, such as the ancient hill fort Dún Aonghasa and Rabbit Beach.
Below you will find a detailed guide to each of the Banshees of Inis Mór filming locations.
Pádraic’s House The Banshees of Inisherin on Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway
Among the harsh landscape of inhospitable grassy patches and gnarly limestone pavements is Pádraic Súilleabháin’s cottage (played by Colin Farrell) that he shares with his sister Siobhán.
Unfortunately you cannot visit this cottage. Similar to J.J. Devine’s pub, the production team led by designer Mark Tildesley constructed the cottage solely for the movie.
It was built a bit back from a cliff in a very isolated spot close to a village called Gort Na gCapall, which translated into “Field of the Horses”.
In the movie, the cottage also allows for breathtaking views of the ancient hill fort Dún Aonghasa.
Martin McDonagh says in an interview that some locals would have loved to have kept Pádraic’s cottage as an additional tourist spot, but the pre-filming agreement required the team to leave everything behind as they had found it before.
Where is Pádraic’s house in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
If you would still like to find the spot where the cottage was constructed for the movie, you will find it about a mile east from the village of Gort Na gCapall on Back Road.
Here is the exact location on Google Maps.
Dominic’s House The Banshees of Inisherin on Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway
About 15 min further west from Pádraic’s cottage lies the little village Eoghanacht (Onaght). Here you can find the home of Dominic Kearney (played by Barry Keoghan). Dominic’s cottage is an existing bungalow on the outskirts of Eoghanacht. The Banshees of Inisherin team fixed the house up for the film.
Where is Dominic’s House in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
If you would like to find the exact location, have a look here.
The prehistoric hill fort Dún Aonghasa on Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway
One of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the Aran Islands is Dún Aonghasa (anglicised as Dun Aengus).This is also one of the most photographed landmarks of Ireland. Dún Aonghasa is the most popular and best known hill fort on the Aran Islands and is dramatically perched on the cliff-edge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Although its exact age is not exactly known, it is thought to be over 3.000 years old dating from the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
In The Banshees of Inisherin it features as a dramatic backdrop for the film, not only seen from Pádraic’s window, but also for other conversational scenes.
Where is Dún Aonghasa in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Dún Aonghasa is located outside of Meenabool and is well-signposted.
It is a National Heritage Site and there is paid entrance to visit the site. It also has exposed cliffs and steep drops, as well as a rough path to the site. So please be careful and watch your footing.
Here is the exact Google Maps location.
Killeany Graveyard and Beach, Inis Mór, Aran Islands, Co. Galway
On the south east side of Inis Mór, close to the Inishmore Aerodrome, there is Killeany Graveyard and east of the graveyard is a small unnamed beach.
Some scenes of the exterior of the graveyard and the beach were shot for the movie.
Where is the graveyard in The Banshees of Inisherin filming location exactly?
Here is the link to the exact location to the graveyard that is features in the film.
Laneways and Pastures on Lighthouse Lane on Inis Mór
Some scenes around Pádraic’s and Dominic’s house feature pretty laneways and pastures. This was filmed on Lighthouse Lane, which is located on the northwest of the island between Breaffy Woods and Cloghadockan.
Where are the laneways in The Banshees of Inisherin filming locations exactly?
If you have trouble locating it, this Google Maps location link might help you.
Where did the cast of The Banshees of Inisherin stay on Inis Mór?
During their three-week stay, the cast of The Banshees of Inisherin stayed in various B&Bs and holiday cottages on the Aran Islands, which included Aran Islands Glamping. These units (hosting 4 to 6 people each) overlook the marvellous Frenchman’s Beach.
While not on set, the crew enjoyed swimming on the beaches, cycling around the island and frequently visited Joe Watty’s Bar in the village Kilronan.
The Banshees of Inisherin FAQ
In what year is The Banshees of Inisherin set?
If you are interested in the historical context of The Banshees of Inisherin and perhaps wonder ‘When was The Banshees of Inisherin set’, here is a quick history summary for you.
The Banshees of Inisherin begins on March 31 1923, the day Colm decides that he no longer wants to have anything to do with Pádraic. In real historic Ireland, the country is in the middle of what is later known as The Irish Civil War (June 28 1922 – May 24 1923).
This conflict followed the Irish War of Independence (Jan 21, 1919 – Jul 11, 1921) and also saw the proclamation of the Irish Free State in December 1922.
The two sides that formerly fought together for an independent Ireland from the British Empire split into the pro-Treaty faction (the party that accepted the Irish Free State comprising 26 of the 32 counties – as the Republic of Ireland exists today) and the anti-Treaty Irish Republican Army (IRA) who wanted to continue to fight for a unified Ireland.
To break it down very simply: Friends become foes almost overnight, similarly to the allegorical depiction in The Banshees of Inisherin.
If you zoom out even more, this fallout resulted in a catastrophic century with horrific atrocities for the isle of Ireland that was only settled in the Good Friday Agreement in 1999.
When was The Banshees of Inisherin filmed?
The filming of The Banshees of Inisherin began in August 2021 and was completed on October 23 2021, as actor Barry Keoghan (Dominic) announced via Twitter.
Filming first took place on Inis Mór (Inishmore) on the Aran Islands in County Galway and lasted for three weeks before the crew relocated to Achill Island in County Mayo. Here the production spent five weeks filming The Banshees of Inisherin.
Is Inisherin a real Place? / Where is the island of Inisherin?
If you ask yourself, ‘Where is Inisherin in Ireland’, then we might have to disappoint you. Inisherin is a fictional island off the coast of Ireland and does not exist in real life.
The Banshees of Inisherin was filmed in two locations in Ireland though, Achill island in County Mayo, and Inis Mór (anglicised Inishmore), the biggest of the Aran Islands, in County Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Both locations are part of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The director Martin McDonagh justifies the filming locations this way: “Inisherin is a fictional island, so I didn’t want it to be specifically one place. I wanted it to be more mythical. So, we explored each of the Aran Islands. Inis Mór ticked most of the boxes. I’d been there as a kid. My parents were living in Galway along the coast, and you can see the Aran Islands from where they were.”
Fun fact: Inisherin can be translated to the island of Ireland. Inis means ‘island’ in Irish, and Erin is another name for Ireland.
Allegorically, Inisherin and the conflict between Colm and Padraig can be interpreted as the interpersonal struggles of Irish society during the years of the Irish Civil War which lasted from 1922 – 1923.
What does Inisherin mean?
Inisherin means the ‘island of Ireland’ in the Irish language. Inish can be translated into ‘isle’, Erin is an Irish word for Ireland originating from the Irish word Éire.
What town was The Banshees of Inisherin filmed in?
The fictional village of Inisherin was constructed for the film on Purteen Harbour on Achill Island in County Mayo in Ireland.
Purteen Harbour was originally built in 1886 and is located a few hundred yards south of the village of Keel. In the background of Purteen Harbour you have stunning views of the Minaun Heights.
What beach was in The Banshees of Inisherin?
Filming for The Banshees of Inisherin took place at Keem Bay (also known as Keem Beach) at the western end of Achill Island in Ireland.
Keem Bay features throughout the movie, as Colm’s cottage is located in close proximity to Keem Bay. The Keem Bay beach is a Blue Flag sandy beach that is sheltered by cliffs on either side and was frequently voted as one of the best beaches in Ireland.
The Banshees of Inisherin actors
The cast of The Banshees of Inisherin is an all-Irish cast and includes Dublin-born main actors Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin.
Colin Farrell has won the Golden Globe in the category Best Actor for his role as Pádraic in The Banshees of Inisherin.
He is also nominated as Best Actor for this year’s Academy Award.
He is most famous for In Bruges (2008), Minority Report (2002) and recently as the Penguin in The Batman (2022).
Brendan Gleeson plays Colm Doherty. Primetime Emmy Award winner Gleeson comes from a distinguished acting family (his son is Domhnall Gleeson who stars as Armitage Hux in the last Star Wars trilogy.) and has shaped Irish cinema with roles in In Bruges (2008), The Guard (2011), Calvary (2014), Braveheart (1995), Gangs of New York (2002) and many more. He is perhaps best known as Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter film series (2005 – 2010).
Gleeson received a Golden Globe nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Colm in The Banshees of Inisherin. He is also up for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor.
There are so many other distinguished Irish actors in the film.
Pádraic’s sister is played by Kerry Condon, who has also received both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Siobhán Súilleabháin in The Banshees of Inisherin. You may know her from her role as Octavia of the Julii in the HBO/BBC series Rome and as Stacey Ehrmantraut in Better Call Saul.
There is also Pat Shortt as Jonjo Devine, Gary Lydon as Peadar Kearney, Jon Kenny as Gerry, Aaron Monaghan as Declan and Bríd Ní Neachtain as Mrs. O’Riordan among others.
Additionally there is Barry Keoghan as Dominic Kearney. Keoghan is an actor to watch. He almost always steals the show in every movie he is in. He has been in The Killing of a Sacred Deer and in The Batman (both movies with Colin Farrell), in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk (2017)and Marvel’s Eternals (2021).
We wouldn’t be surprised if he snatched an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dominic in this year’s film festival award ceremonies.
Is The Banshees of Inisherin a sequel to In Bruges?
The Banshees of Inisherin has been called a ‘spiritual sequel’ to the dark comedy In Bruges. In fairness, it is so much more, as it is so uniquely different to In Bruges.
Of course, you have the obvious similarities: the truly wonderfully harmonising actor-couple Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farell humorously sparking off each other on screen yet again.
Then there is the genuinely dark Irish humour that distinguishes Martin McDonagh’s works in general (just think of his early amazing theatre play The Beauty Queen of Leenane).
Both movies are also deeply rooted in the locality of their setting that the place itself becomes its own character. Through the focus on the local, the depth of the metaphysical dimensions of McDonagh’s works come through once again.
However, there are many clear differences between the movies.
Unlike In Bruges, The Banshees of Inisherin philosophically ponders on bigger questions of life and death and explores the angst of being forgotten after death, the dread of being alone without friends, the tight-rope act between living life (with all your lesser artsy friends) and solitude for the creative process of an artist.
The mood of The Banshees of Inisherin is completely different to In Bruges. In Bruges had always a sense of humour paired with brutality of the action whereas The Banshees can be classified more as a tragicomedy.
Colin Farrell nicely summarises that in an interview: “‘Bruge the Tour’ has blood spatters on every site that we shot In Bruges, this [The Banshees] will have a little tear drop.. a broken-heart.”
Additionally, McDonagh said in one interview that he didn’t want to displease any In Bruges fans, so the humour is similar, but the place is slightly sadder and stranger than In Bruges. But he wanted to be free “to take an In Bruges audience to a different place”. Here you find the interview.
What are banshees?
Banshees are female spirits in Irish mythology that often look like old women. By wailing or shrieking they herald the death of a family member.
The name banshee comes from Gaelic Irish bean sídhe meaning fairy woman, woman-spirit or woman of the fairy mound.
Unexpected Fun Fact: The origin of the cry of the banshee comes from the cry of the barn owl.
What is the banshee in The Banshees of Inisherin?
Despite the movie’s title, there are no literal banshees in The Banshees of Inisherin, as you would expect in Irish folklore.
However, the theme of looming death (in Irish mythology heralded by a banshee) lies over the movie andColm composes a song of that name.
Did you know? Colm actor Brendan Gleeson is a fiddle-player in real life and composed that song for his character himself.
Additionally, there is an old local pipe-smoking woman, Mrs. McCormack (played by Sheila Flitton) who predicts that one or two deaths will visit Inisherin before the month is over.
In this way, she acts as a manifestation of a banshee in The Banshees of Inisherin.
Is The Banshees of Inisherin an allegory?
The Banshees of Inisherin can be seen as a sinister and comic allegory for The Irish Civil War that took place in the year 1923, when the movie is set.
The Banshees of Inisherin is a story about the struggle of two lifelong friends when one abruptly ends their friendship, which culminates into mutual alarming consequences. This can be mirrored onto the history of the Irish Civil War.
During this time, friends that fought side by side in the Irish War of Independence (1919 – 1921) became enemies.
Banshees director Martin McDonagh puts it this way: “It’s a story where a tiny little war is waging between two fellows at the same time as a bigger one is happening over there.”
However, Martin McDonagh’s movie, although set in a local environment, transcends the reading of an allegory, as Inisherin is a mythical place and does not exist like this in real life.
Ireland Filming Location Guides
If you are interested in other Ireland filming locations, especially west coast Ireland filming locations, why not visit our other popular filming location guides?
- Harry Potter Guide to Ireland
- Ultimate Ireland Star Wars Guide
- Normal People Filming Locations Guide
You can watch The Banshees in HBO Max or Disney+ since December 2022.
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(Irish and Celtic Culture Aficionado, Literature Buff)
Nils Beese co-founded LetsGoIreland.com driven by his love for Ireland’s rich culture and captivating Celtic traditions. Holding a PhD in Irish literature, he’s spent time in Dublin and Cork, immersing himself in local tales and traditions. As a lecturer and guide, Nils seamlessly blends his German roots with his deep appreciation for Irish and Celtic culture. Through his writings, readers are invited into the vibrant and enchanting world of Irish stories and Celtic lore.