Mel returns to Ireland to scout locations for upcoming movie

Claire Murphy

BRAVEHEART director Mel Gibson is on the hunt for suitable locations for a new movie in Ireland.

The star was spotted leaving the Shelbourne Hotel.

Gibson was named after St Mel's Cathedral in Longford by his Irish mother.

And Gibson selected Ireland as the destination of choice for the shoot of his Oscar-winning historical drama, Braveheart.

Hundreds of Irish actors and extras made up the cast of the Scottish freedom movie which was partly shot in Trim Castle, the Curragh Plains, Blessington Lake and other locations around Wicklow.

Gibson (56) has been in Ireland since Saturday, scouting locations across the country.

Locals in Cahir, Tipperary, noted the director checking out potential sites. He was also seen walking down Grafton Street on Sunday, and posed for photos with bystanders on Wexford Street last night.

However, yesterday the Hollywood actor dodged paparazzi outside the luxury hotel.

Two security guards attempted to block photos of Gibson as he rushed out the side door and jumped into a waiting van.

The acting legend's star has been on the wane after The Passion of the Christ was slammed by critics despite enjoying huge financial success.