What Makes Ireland Such a Great Filming Location?

The Ultimate Guide to Why Ireland Is Fast Becoming a Centre of Filming Excellence

Ireland is a country known for storytelling, but how does it fare in the film industry?

If you’re looking into Ireland as a potential location for any of your filming needs, this is the article to see if Ireland is suitable for your next movie or TV production.

Funding and tax incentive

We’ll get into the most obvious one first. The Irish government has made a long-term financial commitment to investing in the filming industry. So setting up your filming base in Ireland makes sense for your budget. We won’t get too into detail here, but here’s the overview of what this means for your next project.

Ireland’s 32% – 37% Tax Credit for Film, Television and Animation applies to feature film, television drama (singles or series), animation (excluding computer games) and creative documentary. Projects must satisfy Section 481 Cultural Test and the Industry Development Test.

What’s great about this incentive is that it has no annual limit. It’s capped at €70 million per project.

All cast and crew qualify, including your big international stars, which really strengthens the incentive. The relief also applies to all goods and services sourced in Ireland, including post-production and VFX.

You’ll get a further 5%, known as an uplift if you decide to showcase regions outside Dublin/Wicklow and Cork City and County. The uplift is subject to specific training-related requirements and is 5% in 2020 and 2021, 3% in 2022 and 2% in 2023. So if you’re looking to film in the dynamic regions of the country, then it’s good to know the timeline of this uplift.


Ireland has a lot more to offer than the rural beauty of the countryside. Not to diminish the astonishing beauty of the coastline and the rolling green fields, there’s much more to this island besides. The towns are diverse, whether inland or coastal, twee or contemporary. The benefit of this layering of history is that there are Norman castles but also Georgian townhouses, urban streetscapes and a lot in between.

Galway City Urban Film Location Ireland

Let’s spin an example. Galway city one of the five cities in Ireland. This scene is modern by any city’s accounts and is a perfect location for a modern-day set.

Galway city film location Ireland

Here’s another shot of Galway city. This time we’re seeing a sunny Quay Street in the height of summer. It’s altogether Irish, vibrant, warming and welcoming. In Ireland, the tone and feel you want depends on where you point the camera.

We’re constantly researching new locations and have an impressive database of shooting locations across the country. If you want some more inspiration, here’s a more obscure list of wonderful filming locations in Ireland.

Studios, skills and culture

Ireland is garnering a name as a leading base for movies. A lot of this comes down to the experience and expertise of this country. Almost 12,000 people in Ireland work directly and indirectly in the film, TV and animation industry, according to Screen Ireland. The nation has a long history of storytelling, which is why this is such a big industry in Ireland.

Ireland’s production companies are responsible for tv series like Normal People, produced by Element Pictures. BBC Three have stated that it’s their most-watched show ever and has sold its international rights.

Ripple Words Pictures produced drama Zoo while TV programmes include Wisting and Super Fit Seniors. Never Grow Old was not only produced in Ireland but the western set in 1849 America was also filmed in Connemara, County Galway. In terms of culture, it’s also got some really amazing food tours in Dublin!


Screen Ireland masterfully captures what’s available in Ireland’s post-production houses:

With the latest in picture editing, colour grading and sound mixing technology such as:

  • HD/2K/4K/5K dailies processing
  • 4K projection and monitoring
  • 5.1 Pro Tools HD sound design rooms
  • Stage space approved for Dolby feature mixing
  • ADR recording
  • Flame Premium suites with Smoke and Lustre grading
  • Dedicated Da Vinci and Nucoda systems.

The film need not be filmed in Ireland to avail of the 32% tax credit for post-production work. Some movies that chose to avail of Ireland’s post-production houses include Room (Element Pictures). At the time of writing this, the long-anticipated Artemis Fowl feature film is being post-produced also.

The quality of both the production and post-production in Ireland really makes a case for having Ireland as a filming base. The standard here is fast excelling that of the industry norm.


Visual Effects is an industry that is constantly on the move. That means that directors have to go with industry leaders when it comes to VFX.

The Last Hi-Jack, both a film and interactive documentary turned heads and caught serious international attention when it released back in 2015. Nothing like this had been created before, especially to such a high-quality. Piranha Bar undertook the animations. The team brought actual oil paintings on canvas by artist Hisko Hulsing and illustrations by Aaron Sacco, into a software pipeline that involved 2D, 3D and sophisticated compositing.

Movies that speak for themselves

Star Wars was filmed in Ireland. And we’re not saying that whatever Lucasfilm does should be instantly replicated – but they chose the west coast of Ireland to capture the closing scene of the 2016 instalment. What’s noteworthy is that the crew travelled and experienced filming on this island – and they came back. Ireland became the backdrop for quite a few scenes in Episode VIII because of the raw beauty and the diversity and often otherworldly beauty of the landscape.

If you’re looking for advice on where to film in Ireland – we’re a team of friendly professionals that know Ireland’s filming locations like the back of our hand. There are more hidden gems in this country than a disorganised holistic store, and as professionals in the industry, we’re here to help you create magnificent scenes on this island country. So, contact us here for insights and advice on filming in Ireland.