Where was An Irish Goodbye filmed? Check out These 3 Amazing Counties in Northern Ireland 

an irish goodbye

Updated On: April 18, 2024 by   Sara LynchSara Lynch

In the world of cinema, the power of location cannot be underestimated. A carefully chosen setting can transport viewers to a different time and place, immersing them in the story. An Irish Goodbye, a cinematic gem that has captivated audiences with its poignant storytelling and unforgettable characters, is no exception to this rule.

The film An Irish Goodbye was funded by NI Screen and was a low-budget production. It has been a great success, winning an Oscar for Best Short Film and a BAFTA Award for Best British Short Film. Despite only having four characters in its entirety, it’s a heartwarming story that touches the hearts of the audience.

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An Irish Goodbye was filmed across Northern Ireland.

The filmography of An Irish Goodbye perfectly encapsulates countryside living in modern Ireland. It touches on the realities of maintaining a farm and the hard labour that it so requires. The film also covers the cultural expectations of Ireland and the character’s journey in navigating them.

Join us as we venture beyond the screen to discover the mesmerizing world of An Irish Goodbye through the lens of its exquisite filming locations.

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An Irish Goodbye follows the descendants of an Irish family who immigrated to America.

What is An Irish Goodbye About?

An Irish Goodbye is a cinematic masterpiece that delves into the complexities of human relationships, family dynamics, and the inevitability of change. At its core, the film tells the story of the McCullens, an Irish-American family residing in New York City.

As the title suggests, an Irish goodbye refers to a departure without saying farewell, and it sets the tone for the narrative. The film captures the essence of sudden, often unspoken farewells in the lives of the McCullen family members, a poignant metaphor for the fleeting nature of life and the emotional ties that bind them.

The narrative centres on Patrick McCullen, a middle-aged artist played by the brilliant John Gallagher Jr., who is grappling with the recent loss of his mother. Patrick’s struggles with grief and a sense of aimlessness form the emotional core of the film An Irish Goodbye.

As he navigates the intricate threads of his familial relationships, he is confronted by the realization that, like an Irish goodbye, people and circumstances can disappear from our lives with little warning. The film explores how this theme impacts not only Patrick but also his relationships with his siblings, relatives, and the larger Irish-American community in which they are deeply embedded.

Through a careful interplay of flashbacks, An Irish Goodbye unravels the family’s history, revealing the deep-seated tensions, regrets, and secrets that have shaped their lives. These flashbacks serve as windows into the past, providing insight into the family’s Irish roots and the struggles their ancestors faced as immigrants to America.

This historical backdrop adds layers of richness to An Irish Goodbye, underscoring the universal theme of immigrants reconciling their heritage with their contemporary American identity. The film’s exploration of the Irish-American immigrant experience resonates with themes of cultural identity and the tension between preserving one’s roots and embracing change.

As the McCullens grapple with their heritage, personal aspirations, and the evolving landscape of their lives, An Irish Goodbye reflects the broader immigrant experience in America. This touching and heartfelt exploration of the immigrant identity unites the family’s experiences with the countless others who have made the United States their home.

An Irish Goodbye is a film that transcends the boundaries of a traditional family drama. It is a masterful exploration of love, loss, and identity set against the backdrop of the immigrant experience. The film’s compelling characters, passionate storytelling, and beautiful filming locations resonate with audiences on a deep and universal level.

An Irish Goodbye is not just a movie; it is a profound reflection of the human condition, our bonds with the past, how we navigate the unpredictable currents of our lives, and a deep look into the lives of Irish immigrants.

Where was An Irish Goodbye filmed? 

An Irish Goodbye was filmed primarily in Northern Ireland. It follows the story of two brothers as they cope with the loss of their mother and begin to repair their estranged relationship with one another.

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The settings used in An Irish Goodbye help portray the emotions of the film.

The setting of An Irish Goodbye also does a great job of portraying the sense of isolation that sometimes comes with rural living and the difficulties associated with that type of lifestyle. In the context of the film, it also resembles the fact that the two brothers are stuck with one another until they reach a compromise. 

Check out the filming locations of An Irish Goodbye below, which showcase the rural beauty and countryside that Ireland is best known for. If you visit these filming locations, we’ve also provided some information on what you can do there.

An Irish Goodbye Filming Locations in County Derry 

County Derry was one of the prominent filming locations for An Irish Goodbye. It is a city bursting with rich history and local Northern Irish culture. In 2013, County Derry was even named the U.K.’s City of Culture.

County Derry has many fascinating tourist destinations that are well worth the visit. If you happen to be in the city, be sure to check out the following:

Derry City Walls

The Derry City Walls, a historical and architectural marvel in the heart of Northern Ireland, have fascinated tourists and history enthusiasts for centuries. Serving as a testament to the city’s rich and tumultuous past, these walls stand as more than mere fortifications; they are a living testament to the enduring spirit of Derry.

Encircling the city’s historic centre, these walls, constructed in the early 17th century, represent one of the most well-preserved examples of walled cities in Europe. Their historical significance lies not only in their architectural grandeur but in the pivotal role they played during events like the Siege of Derry in 1689, when the city withstood a 105-day siege by Jacobite forces.

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

Secondly, the Derry City Walls offer breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. As visitors stroll along the promenade, they are treated to stunning vistas of the River Foyle, the cityscape, and the rolling hills of the Irish countryside. The walls provide a vantage point that allows one to appreciate the natural beauty of the region and its seamless integration with the city’s historical architecture.

The walls also serve as a gateway to explore Derry’s rich cultural heritage. As visitors traverse the path along the walls, they can encounter various historical sites and museums, such as the Tower Museum and the Siege Museum, which offer deeper insights into the city’s history and the events that unfolded within these fortified walls.

Additionally, the Derry City Walls are emblematic of the city’s vibrant and evolving culture. Today, Derry is a thriving hub for the arts, music, and creativity. The walls serve as a backdrop for numerous cultural events and festivals that showcase the city’s contemporary spirit.

Visitors may stumble upon street performances, art installations, and local markets as they explore this historical gem, thereby connecting the past with the vibrant present of Derry.

Museum of Free Derry

The Museum of Free Derry tells the story of Derry’s turbulent past and what the city and its people have had to go through in order to become what they are today. Visitors at the museum will hear about the tragedies of Northern Ireland’s civil rights struggle, also known as The Troubles, including critical moments in its history such as Blood Sunday. 

This museum is not just a repository of historical artefacts and stories but a living testament to the indomitable spirit of a community that fought for civil rights and justice during a turbulent period in Irish history.

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

The museum offers a profound insight into a pivotal period in Northern Ireland’s history. It commemorates and educates visitors about The Troubles and the events surrounding Bloody Sunday in 1972, when British soldiers opened fire on peaceful demonstrators, killing 14 civilians.

The museum’s extensive collection of archival materials, personal testimonies, and multimedia exhibits provides a comprehensive understanding of the political and social unrest that characterized the time. Visitors can engage with history on a deeply personal level, understanding the struggles, sacrifices, and triumphs of the people who fought for justice.

In addition to educating guests, the Museum of Free Derry plays a crucial role in promoting reconciliation and understanding. It provides a safe and welcoming space for individuals from diverse backgrounds to come together, learn about the past, and engage in meaningful discussions.

The museum actively fosters dialogue and invites visitors to contemplate the implications of the conflict and the efforts made to move beyond it. In a region historically divided along sectarian lines, this institution symbolises hope and reminds us of the importance of shared narratives in the pursuit of peace and reconciliation.

Moreover, the museum’s exhibits are a testament to the power of collective memory. By preserving the stories of those who lived through the tumultuous events of the late 20th century, the Museum of Free Derry ensures that the past is not forgotten.

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The Derry City Walls are full of history.

The museum’s commitment to truth and justice is not just a historical exercise but a living effort to honour the memory of those who lost their lives and to learn from the past in order to create a more inclusive and equitable future.

If you’re exploring the filming locations of An Irish Goodbye and stop in Derry, don’t forget to check out our blog on the best food in Derry. If you’re stopping by for more than one night, why not check out our blog on the most popular hotels in Derry?

An Irish Goodbye Filming Locations in County Down

County Down is another filming location used for the setting of An Irish Goodbye. It borders the Irish Coast and is best known for its scenic coastal views and, of course, the breathtaking  Mourne Mountains. If you’re in County Down anytime soon, be sure to check out the following hidden spots and tourist attractions:


Saintfield is a town located in County Down. It was used as one of the central filming locations in An Irish Goodbye. The town is a religious civil parish village steeped in rich history and charm. The village exudes an old-world allure with its historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and well-preserved Georgian and Victorian architecture.

Strolling through Saintfield feels like stepping back in time, and visitors are greeted with the enchanting sights of quaint cottages, centuries-old churches, and charming local pubs. The town’s historical character provides a genuine glimpse into Northern Ireland’s past and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

Saintfield is also renowned for its vibrant and close-knit community. The village is home to a multitude of local artisan shops, charming cafes, and traditional pubs where visitors can savour authentic Irish cuisine and meet the welcoming locals. The sense of community and hospitality here is palpable, providing tourists with an intimate and immersive experience of Northern Ireland’s culture and way of life.

If you’re ever visiting the quaint town exploring the areas used to film An Irish Goodbye, be sure to check out Rowallane Gardens, an excellent, well-maintained garden that’s full of mature trees, green banks and mystical woodlands. 

Mourne Mountains

We have to recommend a trip to the Mounre Mountains if you’re in County Down. These majestic peaks, the highest in Northern Ireland, captivate the hearts and minds of tourists from across the globe. However, you don’t need to be an advanced hiker in order to appreciate its beauty. There is a lot to admire at the foot of the mountain, just as there is at the top!

The Mourne Mountains are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The range encompasses diverse landscapes, from rugged cliffs to serene forests, pristine lakes, and picturesque valleys. Hikers, climbers, and adventurers are drawn to the Mourne Mountains for the challenging terrain and stunning vistas.

The exhilaration of conquering summits, such as Slieve Donard, the highest peak in Northern Ireland, is a testament to the rewards of embracing nature’s beauty. The mournes are an ideal destination for those who seek solace in the natural world, as they provide opportunities for exploration, solitude, and adventure.

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

Mount Stewart

Mount Stewart is an impressively stately home that was once owned by the 7th Marchioness Edith, Lady Londonderry. This historic estate is a captivating tourist attraction that enchants visitors from near and far with splendid gardens, a meticulously preserved mansion, rich cultural heritage, and breathtaking views overlooking Strangford Lough.

The estate grounds are renowned for their meticulously landscaped gardens spanning over 98 acres, each boasting a unique and vibrant personality. From the Italian Garden’s classical elegance to the whimsical and colourful Shamrock Garden, the beauty of the estate’s green spaces is unparalleled. Mount Stewart has even been voted one of the Top Ten Gardens in the World. 

The mansion’s eclectic interiors also draw visitors. The estate houses an impressive array of art, antiques, and furnishings, offering visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of the aristocracy in a bygone era. The mansion’s grandeur and intimate family rooms create a unique sense of immersion in the past.

Moreover, Mount Stewart actively engages with the local community and offers an array of events and activities throughout the year. These events encompass a wide range of interests, from guided tours and art exhibitions to gardening workshops and educational programs. The estate’s commitment to involving visitors ensures that every trip to Mount Stewart is a dynamic and enriching experience. 

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

An Irish Goodbye Filming Locations in County Antrim 

County Antrim was another notable filming location in An Irish Goodbye. The County is home to some of the most impressive sights in Ireland, offering up scenic views of breathtaking landscapes and coastal viewpoints. 

If you’re visiting County Antrim anytime soon, be sure to check out the locations used for An Irish Goodbye and add the following tourist spots to your list! You won’t be disappointed:

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge

The swaying Carrick-A-Rede bridge near the town of Ballintoy connects the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. The bridge is an adventure seeker’s dream. Suspended over a 30-meter deep chasm, the bridge swings with the wind as you traverse it, providing a thrilling experience not for the faint of heart.

The bridge offers panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs, the azure sea, and the neighbouring Rathlin Island, creating a sense of exhilaration and connection to the natural world. The adrenaline rush that comes with conquering the bridge is an unforgettable experience, and it’s a unique draw for those seeking a memorable adventure.

Dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, and the mighty North Atlantic Ocean characterize the coastline in this region. The surrounding landscape showcases the raw beauty of Northern Ireland, with its rocky outcrops and lush greenery. The bridge is a gateway to exploring this breathtaking coastal scenery, making it a fantastic starting point for hikes and nature walks along the Causeway Coastal Route.

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The Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge is thrilling to walk across.

The name Carrick-a-Rede translates to “The Rock in the Road”. The bridge was initially constructed by salmon fishermen. Since then, fishermen have crossed it for over 350 years. The bridge itself is a testament to the traditional way of life and the resourcefulness of the local fishermen who used it to access their nets and traps.

Moreover, the bridge’s surroundings are teeming with wildlife and natural wonders. Birdwatchers can spot seabirds, such as fulmars, razorbills, and guillemots, as they soar above the cliffs. Seals and dolphins are also known to make appearances in the surrounding waters, making it a wildlife lover’s paradise.

Giants Causeway 

The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world. This unique geological formation, consisting of thousands of hexagonal basalt columns that appear as if carved by giants, has captivated the imagination of tourists for centuries.

This natural marvel results from ancient volcanic activity, during which molten basalt erupted from the Earth’s core and cooled rapidly to form these remarkable hexagonal columns. The precision of these formations and their sheer number create an almost surreal landscape, leaving visitors in awe of the intricate patterns nature can create.

The Giants Causeway is also known for being shrouded in myth and folklore, adding a layer of cultural intrigue to its geological splendour. According to local legend, the giant Finn McCool built the causeway as a path to reach his rival in Scotland.

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

This folklore has been a source of inspiration for countless stories and artistic works, contributing to the mystique surrounding the site. The causeway’s role in local mythology not only enchants visitors but also highlights the rich cultural heritage of Northern Ireland.

The Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ensuring the conservation of this unique geological formation and the protection of the delicate ecosystems that thrive in its vicinity. The site offers a visitor center that provides information about the natural history of the area and the efforts taken to preserve it.

Glens of Antrim

The 9 Glens of Antrim are quintessential examples of the region’s breathtaking natural beauty and serene landscapes. These glens, each with unique charm and character, offer tranquillity and a deep connection with the Irish countryside. They are the perfect filming location for films such as An Irish Goodbye.

The Glens of Antrim offer a captivating journey into the heart of unspoiled nature. Each glen is a hidden gem of rolling hills, pristine rivers, and lush woodlands, ensuring that visitors are surrounded by serene and untouched landscapes.

Whether it’s the dramatic, craggy cliffs of Glenariff or the gentle, pastoral beauty of Glencorp, these glens invite travellers to escape the urban hustle and embrace the calmness of the Irish countryside. These glens’ pure, natural beauty is a stark reminder of the enduring allure of the great outdoors.

An Irish Goodbye filming locations

The 9 Glens of Antrim are a paradise for hikers, walkers, and nature enthusiasts. The region boasts an extensive network of walking trails and paths catering to various skill levels. From strolls along riverbanks to challenging hikes that ascend to viewpoints offering panoramic vistas, there is an adventure for everyone.

The history and culture of the 9 Glens of Antrim add an enriching layer to the visitor’s experience. Each glen has its unique tales, legends, and cultural traditions, giving visitors a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Northern Ireland’s heritage.

The local communities in these glens are known for their warm hospitality, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Irish traditions and learn about the region’s history.

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The Glens of Antrim have many trails and hikes to explore.

An Irish Goodbye Used Beautiful Filming Locations to Tell a Story

The filming locations of An Irish Goodbye play a pivotal role in elevating the film from mere visual storytelling to a powerful, immersive experience that resonates on multiple levels. As we journeyed through these mesmerizing settings, we discovered that they reflected the hopes, sorrows, and aspirations of the characters who inhabit them.

An Irish Goodbye masterfully utilizes these diverse locations to draw the viewer into a story that explores the intricate dynamics of family, the immigrant experience, and the impermanence of life. An Irish Goodbye reminds us that while we may embark on life’s journey with clear intentions, our paths may wind through unexpected landscapes, leaving us with experiences that change how we see the world and our place within it.

An Irish Goodbye reminds us that while we may not always have the opportunity to say a proper farewell, we can cherish the moments and the locations that shape our lives, knowing that they, like the film’s settings, hold the power to move, inspire, and resonate long after they have faded from view.

Ireland is a land full of culture, history and jaw-dropping nature. It’s clear to see why it’s such a popular option for filmmakers and directors. In addition to An Irish Goodbye, the Emerald Isle has also been used as a setting for TV shows such as Game of Thrones and films including Dungeons and Dragons, Dischanted, and the Star Wars Saga. 

Check out this blog if you would like to hear about the film An Irish Goodbye or if you’d like to find out what exactly the phrase “An Irish Goodbye” means.

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