Brooklyn tours capitalising on film's growing popularity

By Esther Hayden

Published 21/01/2016 | 00:00

ABOVE: Americans Meredith Spalding and Rachel Abbate recreating Saoirse Ronan's look in Brooklyn. The pair are wearing the cats eyes sunglasses and standing against the streetscape of Enniscorthy; RIGHT: Cathy Keane of Heritage Tours Wexford (Photo: Maria Nolan)
ABOVE: Americans Meredith Spalding and Rachel Abbate recreating Saoirse Ronan's look in Brooklyn. The pair are wearing the cats eyes sunglasses and standing against the streetscape of Enniscorthy; RIGHT: Cathy Keane of Heritage Tours Wexford (Photo: Maria Nolan)
On set of the movie, Brooklyn, Saoirse Ronan.

A new bus tour taking in all the sights and scenes from the film Brooklyn is now up and running in Enniscorthy.

Run by Cathy Keane of Heritage Tours Wexford the tour takes in areas of Enniscorthy and Curracloe. Cathy had previously incorporated certain film locations in her Enniscorthy town tour since filming in 2014 but with the popularity of the film since its release decided to start a dedicated Brooklyn tour.

Prior to its release she had been telling visitors from England, Scotland and Wales about Brooklyn in that it was written by a local author Colm Toibin and starred English actors such as Julie Walters and Jim Broadbent.

In the tour of the town she took visitors to John Street, Court Street, Mrs Kelly's shop and the Athenaeum where she also spoke of its role in the 1916 Rising.

However once the film was released she felt there was a niche in the market for a dedicated Brooklyn tour. 'At the moment I'm mainly doing an afternoon, largely for women although some couples also take it. I take them to Curracloe and they recreate some of the scenes especially the scene when Saoirse and Domhnall are at the top of the dunes. People on the tour like to stand in the same spot and get their picture taken as well. Then we come back to Enniscorthy and take in areas around the town. I bought a couple of pairs of cats eyes sunglasses similar to the ones Saoirse Ronan wears in the film and people like to get their picture taken on the street there.

'The street scape is identical to the movie although obviously the cars are modern now. Some people dress up in 1950s but there's no obligation to do so. When on the tour I tell people a few stories from the time of filming. They like to hear that at the end of filming there was a party in the Castle and things like that.

'I also tell that how I drove Domhnall Gleeson who plays Jim Farrell back to his hotel in Wexford one evening. He was very personable and spoke about the weight that was on Saoirse's shoulders during the filming.

'It was the first movie she had filmed in Ireland where she played an Irish person and that weighed heavily on her because she knew the weight of the movie was on her back. He said she was very aware of that.'

Cathy said she herself had been charmed by Brooklyn said it was very uplifting. She also said that it was a very unique film in the scene that it was largely filmed where it was written. 'It's very special because of that. It's a very rare thing.'

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