Martin Scorsese' crime epic, Goodfellas, is often remembered for its violent imagery, whip-fast editing and scorching soundtrack featuring the likes of Harry Nilsson and Eric Clapton.

Although it features an Irish-Italian mob figure as its central character, there's actually another Irish connection in Goodfellas that's gone somewhat unknown for many years. You'll recall the scene where Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro and Ray Liotta murder Billy Batts, played by the brilliant Frank Vincent.

Dumping the body in the back of the car, they set off to bury the body and stop in Joe Pesci's mother's house to pick up a few bits and bobs. The mother, played by Martin Scorsese's actual mother Catherine Scorsese, then makes a meal for the three men and talks about a recent painting she made.

Although the dialogue after the painting is produced was unscripted and improvised, the painting wasn't. In fact, the painting was done by screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi's mother, Susan Pileggi and the subject matter is where the Irish connection comes in. The painting is a recreation of a photograph taken of a man called John Weaving, who lived on a houseboat on the Shannon.

The 28-page article, which featured the photograph the painting was based upon, was released in November 1978 by National Geographic Magazine. The feature in question talked about the River Shannon, the people and places along its banks - one of which was John Weaving.

Weaving was a former banker who had lived out his retirement on the river Shannon and was quite a well-known figure in the area. In fact, the two dogs in the painting had names - Twiggy and Brocky - and often accompanied Weaving on his journeys up and down the river. There's even a memorial bust of John Weaving near Terryglass Harbour in Tipperary that's still there to this day.

Sadly, John didn't live to see himself immortalised in film as he passed away in 1987 just before the film's release.


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