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Holy smoke! Church set torched for Gleeson's new movie

This was the scene as a large wooden church went up in flames in north Dublin.

But it was all part of a specially choreographed pyrotechnics show for Brendan Gleeson's latest movie, Calvary.

Residents in Rush Harbour were treated to the spectacle as Gleeson and co-stars Aiden Gillen and Chris O'Dowd looked on.

Locals watched as the large wooden structure, complete with stained glass windows, was burnt to the ground. The stunt took several hours as members of the cast were spotted huddling outside of the Carlyan pub in Rush dressed in summer costumes and shivering with the cold.

Gleeson, who hails from nearby Swords in North Dublin, plays the role of a do-gooder priest in the movie, set for release next year.

After he is threatened during confession, Gleeson's character must battle the dark forces closing in around him

The role is polar opposite to his turn in last year's hit comedy The Guard, from the same director, John McDonagh.