The Athenaeum in ‘BROOKLYN’

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The Irish premiere of ‘Brooklyn’ at the Riverside Park Hotel delighted the audience of eager locals many of whom starred as extras in the production.  Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson did not attend but the man who meant most was Enniscorthy’s own, Colm Toibin, who was warmly received and commended for the adaptation of his best-selling novel, ‘Brooklyn’.

The event was hosted by Wexford County Council who thanked the Minister for his help in bringing the movie Slaneyside, and the Minister, in turn, thanked the Council for putting on a marvellous show.  He thanked the people of the town for accommodating and facilitating the film crew and the actors for a week that will go down in the Annals of Enniscorthy.

 

Davis's Mill Accounts Office where Eilish Leacy (Saoirse Ronan) worked.
Davis’s Mill Accounts Office film set in the Athenaeum where Eilish Leacy (Saoirse Ronan) worked.

The movie follows in the footsteps of The Violent Enemy (1967) and Underground (1970) both filmed in Enniscorthy.  When access to The Athenaeum was arranged it copper fastened the town’s potential as a location of key scenes in ‘Brooklyn’.  The dance hall upstairs was central to social life in Enniscorthy in the 1950s, the archetypal ballroom of romance and it has ensured the film’s absolute authenticity; it is certainly where Eilis would have met her man.

In an interview, one of the directors of The Athenaeum, said the company was very proud to have played a central part in the decision to film in Enniscorthy  and after the initial contact from Gordon Wycherley in early 2014, being in a position to accommodate and accompany various groups from the film company on several visits to The Athenaeum and assisting in every way possible to ensure that The Athenaeum was featured in the film, as it does in the novel, and that Enniscorthy was the chosen location.

This not the only time The Athenaeum has put Enniscorthy on the map, as the century commemorations for 1916, to be announced shortly, will show.

Paddy Byrne inspecting the timber  work during the construction of the set in the Athenaeum
Paddy Byrne inspecting the timber work during the construction of the set in the Athenaeum