Friday 22 September 2017

'It would put Ireland on the world stage' - Liam Neeson backs Dublin Bay movie studio

Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Liam Neeson has lent his support to plans to build a €75m Hollywood-style film studio on Dublin’s Poolbeg Peninsula.

The 200,000 sq ft Dublin Bay Studios would employ some 1,800 people and would exceed the size of the 40,000sq ft studio space at Ardmore Studios and 45,000sq ft at Ashford, as well as the 70,000sq ft at the Troy Studios facility in Limerick.

The proposal is currently being considered by Dublin City Council as part of the Poolbeg West SDZ, and if it gets the go-ahead would bring the number of sound studios in Ireland to 25.

Neeson believes Dublin Bay Studios would enable Ireland to compete with the UK and US film industries. “As it stands, the country does not have the infrastructure to compete,” he said. “But Dublin Bay Studios would position Ireland on the world stage as a centre of excellence for film and television.”

Film producer Alan Moloney and TV3 founder James Morris in Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin. Picture: David Conachy
Film producer Alan Moloney and TV3 founder James Morris in Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin. Picture: David Conachy

The proposal would be privately funded and is backed by Alan Moloney of Parallel Films, who produced Oscar-nominated ‘Brooklyn’, and James Morris, the founder of Windmill Lane Studios.

“Ireland has limited infrastructure when it comes to sound studios and that prevents more big budget films being shot here,” Maloney told the Irish Independent.

“We have about 3 studios – Ashborne and Ashford and Limerick That’s hardly any compared to the UK.

"In London alone they have 100 sound studios and they are all booked out. It would make Ireland even more appealing place for filmmakers."

Ireland has gone through a golden age of Irish cinema in recent years with home produced films winning international recognition.

The film industry is worth over €550 million and directly employs over 6,000 people.

Several Hollywood productions have filmed on location in Ireland – most notably the Star Wars film franchise.

The proposal also has the backing of Cillian Murphy who said it would enable Irish actors to work at home rather than abroad.

“Most of us have had no choice but to emigrate because Ireland has never had the scale of studio infrastructure needed to support big production,” he said.

“Dublin Bay Studio is the missing piece in the jigsaw.”

Herald

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