Sometimes I enjoy taking photos that show how things change over time. The schoolhouse from the Ryan’s Daughter movie is one such subject that has caught my attention.
On this wonderful awe inspiring peninsula in 1968 a film crew from MGM descended to make a movie, directed by David Lean, which, though not immediately popular with the critics, became a huge box office success. Many local people were extras in the movie, or worked in some capacity for the film company and still have many memories and stories of the events of that time. Imagine how exciting it was to the people in an area which, at that time, in spite of its exceptional natural beauty was economically struggling. The exposure of this marvellous place to a wider world contributed greatly to the increase in visitors the Dingle Peninsula has enjoyed over the years since then.
Most of the set built for the story was destroyed when filming was finished, but the schoolhouse still remains, in an increasingly ruinous state, perched on the coast of Dunquin and with marvellous views of the Blasket Islands. Most visitors don’t even know it’s there. The name Kirrary National School still to be seen there means nothing to most people. (Kirrary was a fictitious place.) There has been talk of restoring the building. That could be interesting.
Since I started to prepare this blog I discovered that there is another wordpress blogger who has written on this topic. For more in depth information and images of the schoolhouse from the time of filming, see SMcP Blogfeast’s very interesting blog:
You can check out this on Wikipedia:
Also to see more images from the Dunquin area of the Dingle Peninsula please visit my website:
Here are some photos taken in October this year (2015) as well as some taken in September 2013. As you can see the timbers have now been ripped from the roof with the storms that have raged since.