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Muckross Estate to be the focus of new feature film




By Michelle Crean

It will be lights, camera and action in Killarney next month as a new film is to be filmed in Muckross Estate and at The Bog Village, Glenbeigh on The Ring of Kerry.

Set for an early 2021 release worldwide, ‘The Kingdom’ - inspired during the darkest days of COVID lockdown - is to be one of the greatest Irish period drama feature films and TV series.

It was literally an eureka moment one sunny June afternoon while researching the Herbert Family of The Muckross Estate in Killarney, conceived by author and director of Blue Box Productions Walter Ryan-Purcell.

“The film location is all there, it’s perfect!” he said.

Muckross House, which was built in 1843, the ruins of Muckross Abbey built mid-1400s, and Muckross Traditional Farms will provide incredible scenes for the story of The Herbert Family and their 200 year tenure on the estate.

Walter Ryan-Purcell contacted his friend Mary Wood who had a part in the film ‘Tradition’ produced in Kerry a few years ago by Damian O’Callaghan, Declan O’Shea and Tim O’Connor of OC Productions.

“It was like turning on all the lights in Ireland! The darkness lifted and a new dawn of film production in Killarney is born. Blue Box Productions Ltd., was incorporated specifically for ‘The Kingdom’ alone, a feature film and TV series likely to be shown in most countries around the world. Muckross House is a national museum expertly curated and managed by the Office of Public Works and a group of very dedicated voluntary Trustees. The support, historical advice and perseverance of Seamus Hassett, Patricia O’Hare, Toddy Doyle and Denis Reidy of Muckross has been phenomenal in the build up to this production.”

The story, based in the 1800s, starts with young nine-year-old Kathleen being sent to America during Black ’47 of The Famine Era, after circumstances for her family on a neighbouring estate turn foul.

The Herberts of Muckross and other local landlords live in absolute luxury in their stately homes. However, tensions and emotions within the family and between families arise, fuelled by the upcoming visit of Queen Victoria and other members of The Royal Family. This entangled and gripping story is cleverly written by award winning scriptwriter Luke Corcoran.

Director Damian O’Callaghan and his team have attracted the best of Ireland’s actors and crew and make them work their hearts out to produce real raw world class productions. Starring in The Kingdom are Paul Ronan (The Devil’s Own, Veronica Guerin, How I Live Now), Patrick Bergin (Sleeping with The Enemy, Patriot Games, Robinhood), Niamh Sweeney (Trust, Noel, and Gaiety productions), and Tony Murphy (Charlie Casanova, Fair City).

“Period drama is very much in demand now following the success of Downton Abbey and others. This is a real first for Ireland. A whole new generation on every continent will again fall in love with The Emerald Isle. From the depths of COVID a new era dawns for Irish film-making.”

Blue Box Productions Ltd. is inviting investors to be part of this production company. Further details from



500,000 coffee cups prevented from going to landfill in Killarney

The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year. Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups […]




The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year.

Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups have been prevented from going to landfill or becoming litter in Killarney National Park.
Additionally, the scheme has saved 872,413 litres of water and 279 trees.
The decision to ban single-use cups was underpinned by complaints that some of Killarney’s most visited beauty spots were being polluted and studies of clean-ups in the National Park revealed that one of the most common forms of waste recovered was single-use coffee cups.
With this in mind, the team behind the project, in conjunction with the Munster Technology University, will launch an adult education programme.
Late last year secondary school students attended a series of workshops in Killarney House hosted by the Killarney Coffee Cup project.
The session began with the task of matching the common items of litter to the time it takes for them to decompose.
The items ranged from crisp packets, banana skins and single-use coffee cups. The aim of this activity was to highlight the importance of minimising waste and litter, to protect the unique Biosphere Reserve that is Killarney National Park.
The plan now is to roll out a series of workshops aimed at adults with support from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“This is still in the very early stages,” said project lead Louise Byrne who is also the Sustainability Manager at The Killarney Park and The Ross hotels. “Why should we care?”
Byrne cited a recent article by The Guardian newspaper in Britain.
“The entire lifecycle of disposable cups, from raw material extraction to production and transportation, requires significant energy, contributing to environmental degradation. The slow decomposition of disposable cups, especially those with plastic linings, can lead to the release of microplastics into the environment and on the off chance that your disposable cup winds up in waste bound for incineration, that process can release pollutants into the air,” said a report on coffee cup waste by the Kent School of Business and published in the London newspaper.
Byrne believes there is still far too much litter, including coffee cups, ending up disposed of in the National Park and this is one of the key drivers behind the new adult education programme.
Meanwhile the scheme won two more awards this week. Eco Hero group at the Outsider Magazine gave the scheme its Eco Hero award and the scheme won the Green Transformation Award at the Green Awards.

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Jesse Buckley’s latest blockbuster showing at Killarney cinemas

  Killarney actress Jesse Buckley latest movie is now showing in local cinemas ‘Wicked Little Letters’ is described as raucous comedy full of hilarious profanities. Set in a sleepy seaside […]





Killarney actress Jesse Buckley latest movie is now showing in local cinemas

‘Wicked Little Letters’ is described as raucous comedy full of hilarious profanities.

Set in a sleepy seaside village in 1920s England, the plot centres on two women who fall out after Edith Swan (played by Olivia Colman) accuses Buckley’s character Rose Gooding of sending poison and anonymous letters’ and things get very heated between the two.

The Irish Film Institute says: “ This delightfully foul-mouthed comedy gives free reign to the considerable comedic talents of Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley to uproarious effect.”

Rose Gooding is described as a rambunctious Irish immigrant while Edith Swan , a spinster living with her dictatorial father is their next door neighbour.

“Relations between the pair are frosty at best, and when Edith starts receiving truly foul anonymous letters, accusing the god-fearing woman of all manner of unspeakable degradations, the finger of guilt would appear to point squarely at Rose. The letters prompt a national uproar, and a trial ensues,” adds the Irish Film Institute.


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