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Banshees of Inisherin pub goes on sale

A pub in Co Galway, in which the set of The Banshees of Inisherin was meticulously reconstructed, is for sale.

Mee’s Pub, located in the village of Kilkerin in Co Galway, acquired the set of JJ Devine’s Pub, where much of the action of the Oscar-nominated film took place.

Owned by the Mee family since 2005, the pub has become a shrine to the dark Martin McDonough comedy film, which tells the story of the tumultuous relationship between Pádraic Súilleabháin (Colin Farrell) and Colm Doherty (Brendan Gleeson).

Proprietor Luke Mee and several friends transported the entire set, piece by piece, from Achill Island in Co Mayo where the movie was filmed, to their family-run business in east Galway.

The set includes a dark wood bar and glass panes in the windows and is an exact replica of its on-screen counterpart.

Mee’s Bar in Co Galway

Speaking as to how they acquired the set in early 2023, owner Luke Mee, whose wife hails from Achill Island, said he has his brother-in-law Tom to thank.

“The film was wrapped about a year and a half before all the Oscar nominations came. I knew the set as I was down there visiting… I knew about the pub being built – it was only a temporary structure – and I remember thinking after, ‘I wonder what became of that pub?

“Coincidently, my wife is from Achill Island, and her sister was up visiting the house.” He asked her if she knew what had happened to the set. She said that her husband Tom, who had worked on security for the film, asked the film crew if he could take the set after learning it was to end up going to landfill.

“He got a few friends of his, stripped it all down and brought it to his yard,” Mee recalls.

Mee later asked him if he could buy it from him, but his brother-in-law responded that he could take it for free.

“That’s how it became mine. Myself and my friend Michael Kelly got a big truck and four of us went down on two trips up and back from Achill Island – two two-hour drives each way- we gathered it all up, it was all in bits.

“It was cold and wet and one of the fellas who came down with me, Denny Connolly, he told me afterwards since that, ‘I think that Luke has just gone mad!’ It was a mad idea.”

“We used a lot of screengrabs from the movie to put it all back together correctly. Everything was all there,” he says, describing it as one large jigsaw puzzle.

The pub has had visitors from all over the world

Before taking it, he checked that nobody local in Achill wanted the set, but nobody had shown interest in the year-and-a-half of it sitting in Tom’s yard and “it wouldn’t have survived another winter.”

The family-run pub also took the thatched roof from the set and added it on, as well as patching up the one-and-a-half feet thick walls and commissioning vintage signs to create the authentic Banshees environment.

Another important character in the film is Jenny the donkey, the loyal companion of Colin Farrell’s character Padraic. Mee’s has its own local donkey who pops down from time to time to provide companionship and comfort to patrons in a manner that echoes the film’s four-legged character – but is not a permanent fixture.

Mee is keen for the pub to be developed by the new owner as a tourist attraction for visitors seeking to connect with the film. It has already attracted plenty of visitors, according to Mee.

“A lot, from all over,” he says. “We eventually put in a visitor book and it’s nothing but people from different parts of America, all of England, Scotland, Australia.”

“One Australian couple came from the Blarney Stone to us, and then onto the Giant’s Causeway.”

“One bus tour said it was one of the things that they all wanted to visit. An amazing amount of tourism. We get musical bus tours and sessions too.”

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