Movie production proves a goldmine for Irish economy

Daisy Edgar-Jones stars in Normal People

Melanie Finn

Screen Ireland has said more than 40 Irish-linked productions will be release on the international market this year.

The body said the industry's contribution to the economy has more than doubled from €164m in 2010 to €357m last year.

Among the productions for this year will be the TV series based on Sally Rooney's best-seller Normal People, which is produced by Oscar-nominee Lenny Abrahamson of Element Pictures.

Starring newcomers Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal as young protagonists Marianne and Connell and featuring scenes filmed around Trinity College, the 12-part series will air on the BBC.


Ireland will also see the biggest production ever coming here in the form of Foundation, an Apple original drama series which has a budget of €45m and has created more than 500 production jobs.

A major driving force in the industry's growth is the animation sector, which has increased four-fold in the past 10 years, surging to €180m last year.

Also due for release this year is a new feature film, Wolfwalkers, which stars Sean Bean and features a uniquely Irish tale about demonic wolves.

It's made by Academy Award-nominated Cartoon Saloon.

The Kilkenny animation company signed a deal last year with Apple TV+.

Other big releases include Sundance Film Festival entry Herself.

Starring Irish actor and screenwriter Clare Dunne, it's described as an inside-look at the Irish housing crisis and domestic abuse.

Netflix production Valhalla is also set to film in Wicklow's Ashford Studios.

Screen Ireland chair Dr Annie Doona said the entire sector has more than doubled in the past decade and continues to be a "critical component of both our economy and our social fabric".

"Our indigenous industry is growing and we are active participants in the global growth story, with all the major streaming giants now among our production partners," she said.