Filming and Photography
The Office of Public Works is responsible for maintaining, managing and caring for 780 of the country’s most important heritage sites – from early farming settlements and ogham stones to castles, abbeys, cathedrals and churches; from military fortifications to great houses and gardens.
This varied portfolio can provide perfect locations for filming and photography. You are invited to consider booking one of our sites for filming.
A large number of our sites make ideal filming backdrops.
Download our guide to filming at Ireland’s Historic Locations below.
Download “Heritage Ireland on Screen”
The most popular are:
- Battle of the Boyne
- The Blasket Centre – Ionad an Bhlascaoid
- Casino Marino
- Castletown House and Parklands
- Derrynane House
- Doneraile Estate
- Dublin Castle
- Emo Court
- Farmleigh House and Estate
- Ilnacullin – Garinish Island
- Glebe House and Gallery
- Heywood Gardens
- Iveagh Gardens
- The John F. Kennedy Arboretum
- Kilkenny Castle
- National Botanic Gardens Kilmacurragh
- National Botanic Gardens
- Pearse Museum – St. Enda’s Park
- Phoenix Park
- Rathfarnham Castle
- Fota Arboretum and Gardens
- Parke’s Castle
- Cahir Castle
- Trim Castle
- Desmond Castle Newcastlewest
- Portumna Castle and Gardens
- Tintern Abbey
- Céide Fields
- Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
- Old Mellifont Abbey
- Kilmainham Gaol
- Custom House Visitor Centre
Filming & Photography Application Form
If the site you wish to enquire about is not on the list, you are welcome to contact us.
Filming and/or photography at a National Monument or historic site can only take place with prior written permission issued through your OPW liaison contact.
The length of time required to plan a piece of filming and issue permissions will vary based on the details and complexity of your proposal. We are currently receiving an increased number of applications for filming and photography so we kindly ask that you give at least two weeks’ notice for any prospective filming and photography requests.
Please go to Timeframes for guidelines.
Requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into account factors such as likely visitor numbers, existing scheduled events, planned maintenance work and site-specific sensitivities such as access, masonry, or wildlife habitats.
Fees & Remediation Deposits
Depending on the nature of your filming and desired location, fees will be charged in accordance with our Fees Schedule.
Additional charges may be applicable depending on your requirements. For example, the cost to OPW Heritage Services of providing additional staffing to supervise your filming or loss of admissions income if the site needs to close to visitors.
Should we judge that your filming poses a risk of damage to an OPW heritage site, a refundable remediation deposit will be required prior to commencement of filming. The level of deposit and responsibility for before and after conditions surveys will be negotiated prior to permissions being issued, based on severity of potential damage. This may be as simple as taking photographs of the ground conditions before and after or may be more complex according to the details of your filming. If no damage occurs the full deposit will be refunded to you by an agreed date at the end of the filming.
Cancellation Fee: Once filming arrangements have been confirmed and your Permission Letter issued, cancellation will incur a charge of half the agreed fee. Cancellation with less than 48 hours’ notice will be charged the full agreed fee.
Non-return of a signed Letter of Permission will be deemed as a Cancellation and appropriate fees will apply.
Certain themes of filming/photography will not be accommodated.
Political – The Office of Public Works remains politically neutral. As such, filming of a political nature will not be permitted whatsoever.
Paranormal filming – The OPW does not promote the use of its sites for the investigation of alleged paranormal activity and we do not allow activities that might damage the integrity of the site.
Inappropriate filming – Requests for filming that are deemed unsuitable insofar as they do not align with the organisation’s objectives or are considered to be blasphemous, salacious or derogatory in nature.
Product or Service promotion – It is not the policy of Heritage Services of the Office of Public Works to promote any product or service for commercial purposes and the use of National Monument sites for this purpose will not be facilitated.
OPW Heritage Services defines filming as Promotional, where our organisation and our sites are being directly promoted as places to visit, as opposed to media exposure only.
Filming commissioned by Irish tourism partners may be considered as Promotional, depending on content.
Filming for factual, non-dramatised productions with a primary focus on the history of a site(s) may be classed as Promotional Filming, but this is at our discretion and can be further discussed at the time of application
Promotional Filming will typically only be considered under the following parameters, to reduce impact on site(s):
- A maximum of 10 people (cast and crew) on-site for the filming
- A maximum of 2 hours on-site
- Equipment to be kept to a minimum
The use of UAVs/drones is prohibited at all OPW Heritage sites.
The Application Process
- Complete and submit the on-line Application Form
- An acknowledgement will issue to you within 3-4 working days inviting you in the first instance to submit proof of Public Liability Insurance – an essential requirement for all applications. Amount of PLC will depend on the level of on-site activity and complexities of site set-up.
- Depending on the type of filming you request, some (or all) of the following may be required :
- Event Management Plan
- Site-specific Risk Assessment
- Method Statement and any other relevant information deemed necessary to fully consider your request.
- Your application is not considered valid until all information requested by us is received. Late additions/variation to a request will not be considered once the process has commenced.
- The onus is on you, the applicant to ensure that all details you provide are correct.
- You are also advised to engage with the process and respond to any queries as soon as possible. A delay in responding may impact on your chosen dates.
- If approved, you will receive a Letter of Permission and an invoice detailing the fees payable. Fees are payable in advance
- The decision of the Office of Public Works regarding your request is final
Student Filming Requests for Educational Projects
A nominal administrative fee of €50 will be charged for facilitating your project if additional staffing is required either to provide access to the site outside normal opening hours or to specifically supervise the filming.
Permission granted and acknowledgements/ copyright
All images used of OPW heritage sites must be acknowledged as follows:
Images courtesy of the Office of Public Works
OPW must be credited in the production titles for their assistance in the making of the programme/film/series and the OPW mark included where possible.
A copy of footage filmed must be made available to OPW on request.
All information requested is for the sole purpose of processing your application. We do not collect personal information for commercial marketing or distribution to private organisations. It may be necessary from time to time to pass your contact information on to trusted third parties in order to assist with the processing of your application, such as our statutory agency partners, e.g. An Garda Siochána, as long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential.
Access to any non-public personal information that you provide will be restricted to only those employees who need to know that information to process your application.
It is our policy to retain collected information for a five-year period after which your information will be disposed of securely.
Contact our Data Protection Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org