If you would like to read the most comprehensive guide to the exact filming locations of The Banshees of Insherin, then you’ve come to the right place!
The Banshees of Inisherin exhibits some of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal scenery. The movie is set on the fictional island of Inisherin, which translates as ‘Ireland’s Island’ in the year 1923, exactly 100 years ago.
The actual filming locations are found on the Irish islands of Inishmore off County Galway (population 762), and Achill Island off the coast of County Mayo, Ireland (population 2,594) – locations known for their wild, dramatic Atlantic scenery.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- 1 Why did director Martin McDonagh choose these specific filming locations?
- 2 Here are all exact filming locations of The Banshees of Inisherin on Google Maps:
- 3 Where was the Banshees of Inisherin filmed?
- 4 J.J. Devine Pub Location – Cloughmore, Atlantic Drive, Achill Island
- 5 Keem Bay/Beach – Achill Island – Colm Doherty’s house location, multiple beach scenes
- 6 Purteen Pier – Keel, Achill Island – O’ Riordain’s Shop Location
- 7 Lough Accorymore – Achill Island – Mrs. McCormick’s House Location
- 8 Where can I stay in the Achill area?
- 9 Dun Aonghasa – Inishmore
- 10 Other filming locations on Inishmore
- 11 Gort na Gcapall – Siobhan and Padraic’s House Location
- 12 Car Rental & ‘The Banshees Footsteps Self-Drive Tour’
- 13 Other Incredibly Scenic Locations in Ireland
- 14 Final Thoughts:
- 15 FAQs
Why did director Martin McDonagh choose these specific filming locations?
McDonagh himself was born and grew up in London, England, a son to Irish immigrant parents. Both hailed from the west of Ireland. His mother was originally from Easkey in County Sligo and his father from Lettermullen in Connnemara, County Galway.
As a child he spent many summers in County Galway and has vivid memeories of the raw and wild landscapes of the region.
Judging by his comments in various interview, he has a special bond with the region and would seem only natural for him to choose this location as the backdrop to The Banshees. McDonagh remarks about Connemara,
“Just the lunar quality, the remoteness, the wildness, the loneliness of it.”
And furthermore McDonagh mentions the iconic Aran Islands being a particular location which caught his eye, even as a young child.
“Even as a kid, I thought capturing this in photographs seemed like it could be interesting to me. So when you get into a position of knowing you’re going to make an Irish film, you have a catalogue of all the most beautiful places in your head. The Aran Islands were uppermost,”
And once again, we hear McDonagh’s summer trips to the Aran Islands leaving a lasting impression on him.
“I still have quite vivid memories of getting in the ferry but you had to climb off the ferry into a smaller boat to get onto the pier back then. I remember the danger of that, and how clear the water was, and the beauty of the island.”
So, as the chance arose for him to take on what seemed like a life-long dream, McDonagh decided he was not going to go about this in any half-hearted way:
“I did want to show Ireland in its beauty. I don’t really feel like it’s been captured enough in the movies… To capture the beauty of Western Ireland was in all of our minds.”
Now let’s get into these amazing locations.
We will give you a local’s guide on exactly where these locations are, the best ways to get there and present you with a tailored self-driven guide of all locations of The Banshees of Inisherin.
I’m lucky enough to have grown up in this region and have visited these stunning locations countless times, so I’m really looking forward to sharing with you exactly where the movie was filmed.
Here are all exact filming locations of The Banshees of Inisherin on Google Maps:
”We wanted to make one of the most beautiful Irish films you could possibly make”Director Martin McDonagh on the spectacular filming locations for ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’
The film premiered in Venice on the 5th September, 2022, and for those who had the privilege of being present during its first viewing, one thing that must have stood out was the spectacular, jaw-dropping scenery on display.
The movie stars two very well-known and respected Irish actors, namely Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. For those of you who have viewed the wonderful In Bruges, which also stars Farrell and Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin is cut from the same cloth in terms of its use of black humour and imminent tragedy.
Before this blog post turns into a movie review, let’s get talking about the wonderfully cinematic filming locations on display in The Banshees of Inisherin.
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Here, the official trailer:
Discover Ireland released a ‘behind the scenes’ video which showcases the epic locations on display. Have a look here:
Where was the Banshees of Inisherin filmed?
J.J. Devine Pub Location – Cloughmore, Atlantic Drive, Achill Island
Where is this location exactly?
What about that for a place for a pint? Bad news though, it was only built for the movie and they did not even have to apply for planning permission, as it is to be taken down again after production. The exact loaction is here along the breathtaking Atlantic Drive on Achill Island, County Mayo:
How to get there
Achill island is reachable by car. There is a bridge just before Achill Sound that links the island to the mainland. I recommend starting the Atlantic Drive from the Achill Sound side. About a half a mile outside the village you will see a sign to turn left for the Atlantic Drive. Take this left.
Initially you will be greeted with some beautiful vegetation, from bright orange Montbretia to vast Fuschia bushes (if you visit in the warmer months) A must-see along this road is Grace O’Malley’s towerhouse.
Grace O’Malley is well-know around these parts as the fiersome Pirate Queen of Clew Bay. Many of these lookout towers are to be found dotted around the bay, with this one being one of the most picturesque.
Next to this castle lies Kildownet Old Cemetry, a beautifully picturesque graveyard overlooking the sea, but one which is shrowded in tragedy. One particular headstone displays the names of 32 unfortunate souls who lost their lives in a terrible boating tragedy in the year 1894.
The boat in which they were travelling on was on its way to Westport to board a larger ship which would transport them to Scotland for work. Unfortunately, the boat was severely overcrowded and subsequently capsised.
Many were trapped under the heavy water-laden sails and were not able to swim to safety. Here is the communal grave in their honour:
After stopping off here, the landscape starts to get wilder and the road starts to climb in anticipation. There comes a moment when you turn a corner and the whole Atlantic Ocean opens up in front of you, along with fantastic, raw coastal scenery.
No surprise then that Martin McDonagh chose this amazing piece of Ireland for the setting of J.J. Devine’s Public House.
Once you have arrived here in Cloughmore, park along the road and make your way down to the rocky shoreline for some incredible shots of the coastline (watch out for sheep droppings – the sheep rule the lands around here!)
Looking northwest, you’ll see the whole southern coast of Achill all the way to Keem Bay. Looking directly south, you’ll see the towering cliffs of Knockmore on Clare Island (twice the height of the Cliffs of Moher)
You have arrived at the exact location of where many scenes of this movie were filmed!
Keem Bay/Beach – Achill Island – Colm Doherty’s house location, multiple beach scenes
Many poignant scenes were filmed on this beach. Colm’s cottage was located just behind the beach, although the shots of the inside were filmed in a studio (you’d never notice, by the way)
The image below illustrates the actual cottage, which does exist and was not built from scratch like J.J. Devine’s pub. The exterior, however, was altered in keeping with the timeframe of when the movie was set (1920s Ireland)
Here is a sample of some stillframes, along with the feature poster, which illustrate the wonderful Keem Bay being one of the primary filming locations for The Banshees of Inisherin.
Where is this location exactly?
This world-renowned beach is located at the western end of Achill Island. The exact loaction is here.
Some places in the world must be visited, and this beautiful bay is one of them. No matter how far you have travelled in your life or how many wonderful beaches you have witnessed, there are few that match this particular patch of planet Earth.
How to get there
The beach is accessed by only one road, the R319, which goes through the villages of Keel and Dooagh. After you leave Dooagh, you will notice that the road rises very steeply and within no time you will find yourself very elevated and the road getting narrower and narrower! So, caution is certainly needed but the views will knock your socks off!
As you reach the highest point of the road, you will encounter a bend and after this bend, Keem Beach will come into view. Here there is a makeshift pull-in spot along the road for some photo shots. But beware, it’s minimal.
You will notice the cliffs dropping completely vertically from this point and once again, be careful not to get too distracted, especially by oncoming traffic (cars, campervans and sheep included)
You will be gobsmacked by the precarious positions the sheep are standing on and wonder how they don’t stumble off these completely sheer cliffs (although I’m sure it has happened as sometimes unusual non-fishlike bones are washed up on Keem…)
From here on, the road starts to descend and you will approach the turquoise waters and white sands of Keem Beach. There is parking right in front of the beach, but as this beach is becoming more and more well-known, sometimes it gets quite crowded.
It’s possible to park along the road which leads down to the beach but don’t forget to leave your car in gear and the handbrake on!
You have arrived at the exact location where many scenes of this movie were shot!
Purteen Pier – Keel, Achill Island – O’ Riordain’s Shop Location
This stillframe image shows Purteen Pier just outside of the village of Keel on Achill Island. This busy little fishing harbour was originally built in 1886.
In the background you can see the iconic Minaun cliffs located near Keel Strand, the longest strand on the island of Achill and a hub for watersports such as surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Where is this location exactly?
About a mile outside the village of Keel, on the way to Dooagh, you’ll see a signpost for Purteen Pier. Take this left and follow the road till it runs out! Exact location is here.
Here we can see the immaculately reconstructed early 1900’s style pub O’Riordain, alongside some barns, storehouses (also built especially for this production) The small black vessels lying on the ground are the iconic Irish fishing boats named Currach, which were used commonly along the west coast of Ireland.
They were fishing boats built to withstand the powerful waves of the Atlantic ocean and can be still seen in original form at piers along the west coast, Purteen included.
The attention to detail in these building constructions has to be commended. It is hard to believe they were just purpose-built plywood buildings! Have a look here at the work in progress:
And here, some more images of the set:
Lough Accorymore – Achill Island – Mrs. McCormick’s House Location
In The Banshees of Inisherin, this location was chosen for some of the more impactful scenes; the vast wilderness of the mountains and lake providing a symbolic background to a sudden shift in the storyline. A brilliantly chosen location at that particular point in the film.
This location deviates from the coastal locations we see up to now, and creates a new dynamic, which leads to some significant events down the line.
Geographically, the word ‘corrie’, which forms part of the name of this lake or ‘lough’, is a term given to an amphitheatre-shaped glacial hollow which is usually filled with water. They date back to the previous ice-age in Ireland, a time in which most of the country was covered in a thick sheet of ice up to approximately 10,000 years ago.
Here is a shot from the movie with Barry Keoghan, which shows the stark desolation and bleakness of the area:
This glacial valley is spectacular and is often overlooked by those who visit the Achill area. There is a car park located right on the lake and this is also the main trailhead for the spectacular Croaghaun Sea Cliffs hike.
The lake itself is surrounded by enormous rockfaces, which were carved out by the ice during the last ice age. The landscape here is nothing but mountain and bogland as far as the eye can see-almost desert-like in appearance. The exact location of the lake is here.
Here are some of the incredible views which greet you on top of those mountains.
As you’ll have noticed, the mountain is literally cut off on its northern side, revealing the incredible Cliffs of Croaghaun (2,572 feet).
We have a detailed post with all the info you need about this incredible location. Click here. Or if you feel you would like to tackle this incredible hike, we have a detailed hiking guide here for you.
Where is this location exactly?
It is located on the way to Keem Bay, and the turn is easy to miss. You’ll see a brown sign that says ‘Lough Accorymore and Water Treatment Works’. Take this right and follow the road for about 1.5 kms till you reach the small parking area. Here is the exact turn-off spot
Where can I stay in the Achill area?
Thankfully there are numerous types of accommodation on the island and also in the towns of Mulranny, Newport and Westport. From Bed & Breakfasts to hotels, you will have no problem finding accommodation. Have a look here to see what’s available.
Achill island is a popular day trip for those using the wonderful town of Westport as a base. There are numerous choices of accommodation on offer here, from hostels to B&Bs, hotels to glamping.
Click here to see OUR choice of the 12 best hotels in Westport (from reasonably priced to luxury)
Before we finish up with the filming location of Achill Island, we have put together a comprehensive post of things to do on this island, along with some insider tips and detailed information. Click here for more information.
Dun Aonghasa – Inishmore
Maybe you’re wondering about the use of the word ‘Inish’ in the title of the movie and once again here in this next filming location? Well, Inisherin is the name of the fictional island from the film, but Inishmore certainly exists.
It’s the largest of the wonderful chain of Aran Islands, located off the coast of county Galway. The islands are steeped in Irish culture, the Irish language, endless stone walls and a real rewind into life ‘the way it used to be’ in Ireland in the good old days.
The Irish word ‘Inis’ itself means ‘island’ and ‘Mor’ literally translates as ‘big’. There are in fact 3 of these Aran Islands. The others are named Inishmaan (The middle island) and Inisheer (The east island).
For The Banshees of Inisherin it is very evident that this particular still frame image is taken from the high stone walls on the ancient fortress of Dun Aonghasa, Inishmore.
On closer inspection, the actors Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan are actually sitting on a very precarious position! How do we know this? Well, because I have actually sat on the exact location many times myself.
This is certainly not a place to be sitting on a windy day… Here is the view the 2 actors would have had for this particular scene: Let’s just hope whatever was in that bottle was of the non-alcoholic variety!
This ancient fortress is believed to be over 3000 years old and contains three massive dry stone walls, which acted as a barrier against any intruders. Access from the sea would have been quite a challenge also, as is demonstrated by this spectacular aerial image below:
Where is this location exactly?
The exact geographical location of this scene is located here:
How to get there
Depends where you are coming from. Chances are you’ll be coming from the mainland so you’ll have to set aside a full day to get here and take in the rest of this beautiful island.
There are numerous ferries to Inishmore from the mainland.
Aran Island Ferries run multiple services daily from both Galway city (seasonally) and also from the harbour of Rossaveel (year-round). The boat trip from Rosaveel to Inishmore is sigificantly shorter than of that from Galway City, but you must first get a shuttle from the city to get to the harbour in Rossaveel.
Tricky decision, hey? We personally like the shuttle to Rossaveel as you drive through part of Connemara, with Galway Bay to your left and the wild beauty of Connemara to your right. Why not kill two birds with the one stone? All details of ferry times etc. are here.
Once I am on the island, how do I get to the fort?
Here, there are numerous possibilities. If the weather is decent I would highly recommend hiring a bike, either standard or electric.
When we visit the island, we always hire a bicycle. Cycling through the island with stone walls lining the narrow lanes is almost fairy-tale like.
You see, smell and hear so much when you are on your bicycle and you are given the ultimate freedom to explore many sights such as the wonderful beaches, Poll na bpeist (a precarious cliff used in the Red Bull cliff diving series), The 7 Churches monastery and of course the most relevant and spectacular of all: Dun Aonghasa.
For those of you who wish to travel in comfort, there is also the possibility to rent an electric bike.
Click here to book directly and for more details.
When you dock at the pier in Kilronan, you will see numerous tours, all of which will take in the main parts of the island and also Dun Aonghasa. These range from horse and cart to mini buses, so those with mobility issues may find these very useful. These can be approached directly in front of the pier but beware, the island gets very busy in the summer months!
Other filming locations on Inishmore
Many of the other stone wall/field scenes could be anywhere on the island and we presume they used multiple locations here.
For example, we can see these stone walls in this particular scene are located to the north of the island near ‘The Seven Churches’ as the 12 Bens of Connemara on mainland Ireland are clearly seen in the background.
Gort na Gcapall – Siobhan and Padraic’s House Location
For the film a purpose built house was constructed, which was subsequently deconstructed post-production. As we can see from this clip, their house was located near the village of Gort na gCapall, not too far from the Fort of Dun Aonghasa.
Where can I stay in the Inishmore area?
As Inishmore is the largest of the Aran Islands, there is a decent amount of accommodation on offer, including a hotel on the island.
It is, however, highly advisable to book in advance, especially if you plan to visit in the high season (from end of May till end of September). We believe staying on an Irish island is a truly special experience, especially when the weather is good!
There’s also a possibility to stay in your very own thatched cottage on Inishmore!
To save yourself the bother of searching the Interweb, have a scan around here for some PLACES to STAY on Inishmore
If you are staying in Galway city, which is a lively and wonderfully charming city, there is also a huge variety of accommodation. From Bed and Breakfasts to hotels, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Galway by the way, is a must-visit on your trip to the Emerald Isle (in our humble opinion)
Car Rental & ‘The Banshees Footsteps Self-Drive Tour’
If you are coming from abroad and would like to rent your own car in Ireland (which I would highly recommend), check out these tips which may save you a fortune on car rental.
As mentioned earlier, we have put together a ready-made tour of the filming locations of ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ on Achill Island. Click here to see your self-driven tour in the ‘Footsteps of the Banshees‘
Other Incredibly Scenic Locations in Ireland
While the movie showcases some wonderfully scenic coastal locations, Ireland as a whole offers some incredible and varied landscapes, both along our coasts and inland. Recently, we were delighted to put together a ‘highlight-reel’ post of the most iconic landscapes of Ireland.
Click here to explore some awe-inspiring landscapes of Ireland.
Some of the cinematography in this movie is of an epic scale and works magically with the storyline. Have you watched it yet?
Without giving anything away, the movie appealed to me a lot. Its use of the wild western landscapes of Ireland provided a mood which fit the movie flawlessly. It’s also quite amazing, certainly disturbing and quite funny to witness the lengths a man would go to keep his word…
If you expect a large-scale Hollywood production with a cliché ending, The Banshees of Inisherin may not be for you. On the other hand, if you appreciate a slow-burner, where character development is central, then you will really enjoy this.
Should you decide to visit any of these wonderful locations, it would be fantastic to share your experiences here. Maybe you have also discovered other locations we have not yet mentioned here. If so, leave a comment. We’d be delighted to hear from ye!
Where was The Banshees of Inisherin filmed?
The Banshees of Inisherin commenced filming on two locations off the west coast of Ireland in July 2021, namely Achill Island in County Mayo (Ireland’s largest offshore island) and Inishmore in County Galway. Actor Barry Keoghan announced filming had been completed on 23 October of the same year.
What is a Banshee?
A Banshee is an Irish mythical spirit. Should you hear her, it signifies impending death.
Could the sound of a Banshee have been mistaken for something else?
My theory is that the noise was simply a fox. There are various other theories as to which animal this could be, but based on first-hand knowledge of hearing stories of how exactly the banshee sounded, (and hearing the fox numerous times in rural Ireland) this is definitely the closest sound to the good old banshee.
What does Banshee mean?
The word derives from the Irish words ‘Bean Sidhe’, which translates as ‘woman of the fairies’
What does Inish or Inis mean?
The Irish word Inis means island i.e. ‘Inismor’ means ‘the big island’
What does Inisherin translate as?
The word ‘Inish’ is the anglicized version of ‘Inis’, the Irish word for ‘island’. The word ‘Erin’ is the Hiberno-English meaning of the word ‘Ireland’, so Inisherin means ‘Ireland’s Island’
Are the actors in The Banshees of Inisherin Irish?
Yes. The 2 main actors, namely Colin Farrell and Brendan Glesson are Irish, born and bred. Also, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan and Pat Shortt are Irish.
Is Inisherin a real place?
No, it is a fictional island off the west coast of Ireland. It depicts a location removed from the Irish Civil War on the mainland, which serves as a powerful metaphor for the central conflict in the film between the two main characters, Padraic and Colm.
What is a quick summary of The Banshees of Inisherin?
The story centres around two lifelong friends on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland. One of them decides to end their friendship, which leads to all kinds of disastrous outcomes.