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Monday 26 February 2018

Irish stars add some sparkle to premiere of Harry Potter

Irish actress Evanna Lynch,
right, who plays Luna Lovegood in 'Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1', with fan Coley
McManus (12), from Ballinteer, south Dublin, at
the screening
Irish actress Evanna Lynch, right, who plays Luna Lovegood in 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1', with fan Coley McManus (12), from Ballinteer, south Dublin, at the screening
Irish actress and star of 'Harry Potter' Evanna Lynch attends the premiere of the latest film in Dundrum last night
Irish 'Harry Potter' actor Domhnall Gleeson gets his picture taken with a fan at the event
Gerry and Morah Ryan's children Rex, Bonnie, Babette and Lottie
Plenty of fans dressed for the occasion, including, below, Millie (7) and Zak (6) Cooper

Grainne Cunningham

IT was all a bit Muggle really. When the hotly-anticipated finale of the Harry Potter series premiered in Movies@Dundrum last night, there was a distinct absence of magic in the air.

Four days ago in London, thousands mobbed the Leicester Square cinema, shrieking at the line of stars who pulled up in limousines and sashayed up the red carpet in a blaze of photographer's flashbulbs.

However, the first Irish screening of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1' was almost as humdrum as Harry's life at Privet Drive before his wizardly days began.

A raggle-taggle line of die-hard fans queued patiently for autographs but their heroes Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were all in New York for the US premiere last night.

And the multiplex cinema house, deep in shopping mall land, just didn't seem to have the razzmatazz you expect from a Harry Potter blockbuster.

Finally the arrival of Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch) and Bill Weasley (Domhnall Gleeson) added some sparkle to the evening and even managed to prompt some excited screams from their young admirers.

Like Emma Watson, Ms Lynch, from Co Louth, has had an image makeover since filming ceased -- her blonde locks are now a burning copper.

Dressed in a grey strapless mini-dress with black trimming and red high heels, she looked every inch the movie star although she confessed she was currently repeating her Leaving Certificate. "Sadly," she added.

Having spent the last five years of her life on the Harry Potter treadmill, Ms Lynch, who is 19, admitted she finds it hard to imagine life after Hogwarts. "It has been a big chunk of my life," she said.

But Domhnall Gleeson, who only appears in 'The Deathly Hallows', had less adjusting to do. For him, it was a chance to work with his famous dad Brendan Gleeson again "which is always a pleasure . . . I admire him very much," he said.

Fans also confessed to feeling sad at the thought of finally bidding farewell to their wand-weaving heroes. Coley McManus, from Ballinteer, turned up for the film sporting Harry-esque dark rimmed glasses and had persuaded a friend to etch his famous scar on her forehead with lip liner.

The 12-year-old said she was "obsessed" with Harry Potter and that she was "really sad it is over".

JK Rowling, the author behind the hugely successful boy wizard books on which the movies are based, has revealed she went through a grieving process for the characters. Given that the "Chosen One" has netted her in excess of €600m, that's understandable.

And despite all this talk of finales, for those who cringe at the very mention of Harry Potter, it is not yet safe to go back in the cinema. 'The Deathly Hallows Part II' will reach a screen near you in July 2011.

Just like the stars of the films, the audience was full of families who grew up with the bespectacled spellmaker. Morah Ryan was there with most if not all of her brood, as was Miriam O'Callaghan.

Singer Mary Coughlan and TV3 weather man Martin King also showed up with the necessary minors.

Irish Independent

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