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Rooney novel 'normal people' in Tubber filming

Christmas came early in Tubber last week for filming


Those passing through Tubbercurry last week may have thought the locals had gotten their seasons mixed up as a decorated Christmas tree stood deserted in the centre of town. But no, it was all for show as the cast and crew of a BBC series rolled into town for filming.

The TV adaptation of award-winning book 'Normal People' has been taking place throughout the summer, and Sligo forms part of three locations of Sally Rooney's acclaimed story.

The Mayo writer whose father is from Sligo has been hailed as 'the first great millennial novelist' with her second novel winning Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and being longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Her much celebrated novel has been adapted for the small screen with Tubbercurry becoming the fictitious location of Carricklea where protagonists Connell and Marianne live before heading off to college in Dublin. Brennan's Pub on Teeling Street was a hive of activity on Wednesday last as the large production team and crew prepared for filming New Year's Eve scenes at the pub which is run by sister and brother duo Nora and Nathy Brennan.

Nora told The Sligo Champion that a number of months ago she was contacted by the team and pictures of the inside of the pub were taken before it was decided the pub was perfect for filming. Nora agreed to filming, and during the summer scenes were filmed there, along with one day of filming last Wednesday,

"They've paid us for the use of the pub for the day, it's there's for the day," said Nora, who minutes before welcomed director Hettie MacDonald on set with a hug. The award-winning director shares directing duties with oscar-nominated Irish director Lenny Abrahamson.

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Irish company Element Pictures (the team behind The Lobster, Room, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) will produce the series for BBC Three and Hulu.

Actor Daisy Edgar Jones, best known for her role in ITV's Cold Feet and Irish actor Paul Mescal take the leading roles, while Sligo's own Killian Filan also stars, playing the character of Jack. Killian, a graduate of D.I.T Conservatory of Music and Drama, previously starred in Irish feature film: 'DUB DAZE', which premiered at the 2019 Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival.

Speaking about casting the leading roles, Executive producer and director, Abrahamson said, "I feel I have found two young actors who can vividly capture Marianne and Connell and bring alive the profound and beautiful relationship at the centre of the story.

"It's also lovely for me to be shooting in Ireland again and telling an Irish story after shooting abroad. The film and TV industry here is full of talented and committed people who can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world."

Other locations used around Tubbercurry included St John the Evangelist Church and Killoran's pub on Teeling Street.

Tommy Killoran senior and Tommy Killoran junior told The Sligo Champion that they were looking forward to seeing the pub on the small screen.

Scenes were being filmed in the lounge area of the pub on Thursday last.

Though the large crew had their own catering facilities on Mountain Rd during filming, it was clear to see the town benefitting from having such large numbers of people around for the week. The cast stayed at The Sligo Park Hotel during filming.

Some familiar faces will be spotted when the 12 part series airs as locals took part as extras.

Filming on the series is soon to wrap up with other locations including Dublin and Italy and the series is expected to air early next year.