By Kieran O’Mahony
BOTH Bandon and Ballyvourney will feature in a new TG4 series called ‘Hollywood in Éirinn’ that takes a look at how the silver screen transformed and enriched the lives of ordinary Irish people in small communities.
Both towns saw Hollywood come to their doorstep in recent years, with Ken Loach’s The Wind that Shook the Barley filmed in Bandon in 2005 and A Song for a Raggy Boy shot in Ballyvourney in 2002.
Acclaimed actor Denis Conway travels to both towns in search of residents who remember when the Hollywood machine rolled into town.
He unearths a real treasure trove of stories and anecdotes from local people in Bandon and Ballyvourney.
Some of them were employed behind the scenes or as extras in these landmark films starring actors such as Cork actor Cillian Murphy in The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Aidan Quinn in Song for a Raggy Boy.
With extensive use of behind the scenes footage, vintage stills and personal interviews, viewers will discover how Padraic Delaney faired as a hurler in The Wind That Shakes the Barley and how Aidan Quinn passed his time in Ballyvourney.
There are contributions from various Hollywood stars but the real stars of this series are the local carpenters, singers, army privates, extras, hoteliers and seamstresses.
How did the locals get along with Ken Loach?
And just how did the small village of Ballyvourney cope with the influx of a production crew and a host of young teenage boys?
These questions and a host of other mysteries are resolved in this wry and nostalgic look at big screen magic in rural Ireland.
Hollywood in Éirinn airs on Sunday September 27th on TG4 with the focus on The Wind that Shakes the Barley and on October 18th they will focus on A Song for a Raggy Boy.