If there's one thing Irish people can take pride in, it's the natural beauty of our country's landscape. There are some parts of our country so beautiful that people travel thousands of miles just to see them with their own eyes.
It doesn't come as much of a surprise that Ireland is a popular destination for film production crews. Aside from the favourable tax breaks, there are backdrops in this country that they literally can't get anywhere else. In honour of St. Patrick's Day, we've compiled a list of our favourite cameos of the Emerald Isle on the big screen.
1. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
The most high profile entry on the list given the endless coverage of the crew's activities while they were on our shores. Audiences had to wait until the final scene of The Force Awakens to see Skellig Michael on the big screen but it was well worth it. The historical island looked majestic and it's easy to see why Luke Skywalker would retire to there.
Writer/Director John Michael MacDonagh came under fire when the film was released after he commented that he didn't want Calvary to be labelled an 'Irish film' because Irish films weren't technically accomplished. While there wasn't anything particularly 'technically accomplished' in Calvary there can be no denying that they captured Sligo and in particular Benbulben in all its glory.
3. HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
The Harry Potter films really stepped up a gear in terms of drama with the Half Blood Prince. A much anticipated scene for fans was when Harry and Dumbledore visit a cave by the sea to destroy one of Vodermort's horcruxes. What better location that the Cliffs of Moher? Harry and Dumbledore rest on a rock a bit further out to sea when they first survey the cave from afar. The rock in question isn't actually at the Cliffs of Moher. Through the magic (get it?) of technology, the special effects team were able to move Lemon Rock which is found off the coast of the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry to the South of the Cliffs of Moher.
4. THE QUIET MAN
When one of the greatest directors and biggest stars of that era wanted to film in Cong, Co. Mayo for their film, The Quiet Man, it was always going to leave a lasting impression. Sure enough, John Ford and John Wayne's legacy is forever tied to the West of Ireland setting of the film. Mayo and Galway look fantastic on the big screen in what was the biggest movie production ever to take place in Ireland up to that point.
5. RYAN'S DAUGHTER
Trust David Lean, one of the great directors, known for making films on an epic scale to truly capture the beauty of Ireland's south west on screen. Among others, the Cliffs of Moher, Inch Strand and the Dingle Peninsula all flourish under Lean's lens in this epic tale of love and betrayal.
6. PS I LOVE YOU
While the film adaptation of Cecelia Ahern's best selling novel didn't exactly set the world alight, Wicklow sure was looking well in the film. The scene where Hilary Swank's Holly first meets her would be husband Gerry was filmed at Wicklow National Park and it truly looked stunning on screen. There are some offences to the Irish people in the film, in particular the 'oirish' accents put on by Gerald Butler and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but the representation of the Wicklow countryside in the film is something we can be satisfied with.
7. WAR OF THE BUTTONS
War of the Buttons was filled with great characters but the rural West Cork landscape played as big a role as any of the pint sized actors. From the battle field plains, to the mountain side on which Fergus tried to make his daring escape, the locations really added texture to the movie.