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Grisly 'Ripper' series to scare up €8m for capital

The grisly murders took place more than a century ago but the story of Jack the Ripper continues to fascinate.

A new drama about the notorious serial killer who stalked the streets of London's East End in the late 1800s is being filmed in Dublin by the BBC.

It is expected to generate €8m for the economy.

For the latest part of the shoot, Clancy Barracks in Islandbridge has been transformed into Victorian London.

Filming began in March at the Georgian buildings, which have been augmented with constructed film sets created by production designer Mark Geraghty to recreate the Whitechapel area of the East End.

BBC America is behind the eight-part drama. The BBC hopes the show will rival the success of 'Sherlock', which attracted eight million viewers in the UK.

The production has created more than 250 Irish cast and crew jobs since filming began.

Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan, who was given a tour of the 'Ripper Street' set yesterday, said the production vindicated the Government's decision to retain tax breaks for film and television productions.

"The section 481 tax breaks played a major role in this production company coming to Ireland," he said.

"This is a major injection of investment for Dublin and for Ireland. We forfeit about €70m in tax through section 481 and certainly we get a great return for that.

"I think in 2010 the figure mentioned, the value, would certainly have been well over €300m, so we are getting a really good return for what we are ceding in taxation," the minister said.

The series stars British actor Matthew Macfadyen as a detective leading the hunt for the Ripper.

The drama also stars 'Alcatraz' star Adam Rothenberg, 'Twilight' star Myanna Buring and Jerome Flynn of 'Game of Thrones'.

The series is being made by London based Tiger Aspect Productions, which also filmed 'Murphy's Law' and 'The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse' here; Lookout Productions and Irish-based company Element Pictures are also involved.

James Hickey, chairman of the Irish Film Board, said the fact that 18 Irish films funded by the IFB were to be released this year showed the industry was in a good state despite the recession.

They include Neil Jordan's latest film 'Byzantium', starring Saoirse Ronan, which is set in an English seaside town but was filmed in Wicklow and Dublin.

Irish Independent