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American TV series filming in Cong


American TV series filming in Cong

Ciara Galvin

FAMED for providing the backdrop for John Ford’s cult classic ‘The Quiet Man’, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, the village of Cong was once again the backdrop for filming last week.
American network CW had cast and crew filming around Ashford Castle and Headford for the pilot series ‘Reign’. The series, described as ‘Game of Thrones meets Marie Antoinette’,  chronicles the rise to power of Mary Queen of Scots when she arrives in France as a 15-year-old betrothed to Prince Francis, with her best friends as ladies-in-waiting. Former ‘Neighbours’ star Adelaide Kane plays the teen queen.
The pilot for the show is being filmed in Cong, Headford, Tullamore and Dublin.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Cong resident Ray McHugh said if the pilot is successful, the cast and crew could be back in the area to film a further 20 episodes.
“I was speaking to Location Manager for the series, Peter Conway and he has a feeling they will be successful in selling the series. Apparently, it has been eleven years getting off the ground, and a lot of money has gone into it, and apparently Ireland is cheaper than a lot of places to film,” explained McHugh.
The cast and a crew of up to 200 people brought a huge boost to the local economy.  Lisloughrey Lodge was the accommodation of choice, while hotels and B&Bs in Cong, Clonbur and the surrounding areas were booked up with ‘Reign’ crew members.
“You could see there was more people around. All the local businesses were very happy with the boost, and it would be great if they come back to film more,” said Mr McHugh.
While filming on site at Ross Abbey in Headford over the weekend, the crew used nearby Presentation College Headford as a base for vehicles. The principal of the secondary school, James Whyte, was delighted to accommodate. “It is great to see this type of industry coming to the area,” he said.
Casting for extras for the series took place last month at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway.

HAVE YOUR SAY email ciaragalvin@mayonews.ie with your comments