Belfast Telegraph

Where is Dublin Murders filmed? Northern Ireland filming locations for the BBC crime drama revealed

Killian Scott as Detective Rob Reilly and Sarah Greene as Detective Cassie Maddox in Dublin Murders
Killian Scott as Detective Rob Reilly and Sarah Greene as Detective Cassie Maddox in Dublin Murders
Detective Maddox giving evidence from an undercover case in Belfast’s Royal Courts of Justice
‘Gardai station’ at Custom House Square
Clifton Street service station
Conleth Hill
Clifton Street service station
Sarah Tulloch

By Sarah Tulloch

Belfast is the star of the show in the BBC’s newest hard-hitting crime drama, Dublin Murders.

The series has been shot in the city and across other parts of Northern Ireland as well as the Irish capital to recreate Dublin in the early 2000s during the Celtic Tiger financial boom.

Eagle-eyed viewers were quick to point out familiar sights during Monday's opening episode with some saying how much they were looking forward to playing "spot the location" for the drama which has won widespread acclaim.

Others thought it amusing to see Belfast locations portrayed as inner city Dublin.

The eight-part drama - based on the internationally bestselling work of crime novelist Tana French - is a dark, psychological mystery thriller which focuses on a murder investigation led by detectives Rob Reilly played by Killian Scott and Sarah Greene's character Cassie Maddox.

Ballycastle-born Game of Thrones star, Conleth Hill, also plays the crude and foul-mouthed Dublin Murder Squad superintendent O’Kelly.

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Conleth Hill

Episode one saw a young, talented ballerina found dead on an ancient stone altar. Her death drags up another tragedy from years before – when three children disappeared into the local woods and only one returned.

The programme opens with Detective Maddox listening, dead-eyed and hollowed-out, as her partner Reilly delivers an emotional monologue about how those that manage to escape the clutches of a murderer are the real "unlucky ones".

As he speaks in a shaking, faltering voice, the young murdered ballerina dances.

The show then jumps to four months earlier and the two detectives are seen racing down the Westlink to the report of a killing which was filmed at Belfast's Clifton Street petrol station.

Elsewhere Belfast's Royal Courts of Justice feature as does Crumlin Road Gaol and Tollymore forest where the murder victims are found.

A former First Trust bank at Custom House Square in the city centre was also transformed into a fully-fledged Garda station.

Stars Scott and Greene said they enjoyed the buzz of Belfast while filming.

Killian said the film scheduling allowed for some sight-seeing - something he doesn't usually get to do on other projects. He said he was "seduced" by the city while filming the Terri Hooley biopic Good Vibrations.

"The city and the people are so cool," he said.

Belfast has a history of setting the scene for top-rated BBC cop dramas.

Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty has become synonymous with the city as it followed police unit AC12's bid to root out "bent coppers" as Adrian Dunbar's Superintendent Ted Hastings famously put it in the cop corruption drama.

Twitter user Kristian Ross said he was “hugely looking forward” to Dublin Murders, but mainly on the basis that most of it was filmed in Northern Ireland.

“It will be ‘spot the location’ for the hour ahead,” he wrote.

Another said it was amusing to see Belfast courts followed by a scene in Dublin.

“I'm gonna be playing guess the location for all of the series,” said another viewer.

Northern Ireland locations used for Dublin Murders

Clifton Street service station

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Clifton Street service station
 

Following the first episode’s opening scene, we’re transported back in time, four months earlier to Dublin in 2006.  Maddox and Reilly are captured whizzing past the Westlink as they respond to a murder at a service station, which was shot on Belfast’s Clifton Street.

Royal Courts of Justice

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Detective Maddox giving evidence from an undercover case in Belfast’s Royal Courts of Justice
 

The first episode sees Detective Maddox giving evidence from an undercover case in Belfast’s Royal Courts of Justice, but with a murderer to track down, we suspect it won’t be the last courtroom scene in the series.

‘Gardai station’ at Custom House Square

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‘Gardai station’ at Custom House Square
 

The former First Trust bank at Custom House Square was transformed for filming into a fully-fledged Garda station. It isn’t the first time the old bank has been used as a police station in the Republic. In 2016 it was dressed to look like a Garda station for the BBC Two drama, Paula.

Tollymore Forest Park

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Scenes from the TV show
 

The title of one of the books which the series draws on is Into the Woods, a reference to the place where the murder victims are found. The forest carries a lot of history, with relics from the past, an old stone hermitage, and a huge granite obelisk erected in memory of a19th century sailor.

Tollymore is also a famous filming location of hit HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones and 2014 action horror film, Dracula Untold.

Crumlin Road Gaol

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The Gaol Circle showing B wing and C wing of Crumlin Road Gaol (Liam McBurney/PA)
 

Known as “The Crum”, it was one of the main sites used to hold Republican and Loyalist prisoners during The Troubles, many of whom were held without trial. Historical, morbid and with ties to the supernatural, it’s ideal for a show like Dublin Murders.

It closed as a prison in 1996, reopening in 2012 as a tourist attraction.

Ards Community Hospital

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Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox in Dublin Murders
 

What’s a crime drama without a morgue? To crack a murder case, the detectives will usually have to make at least one trip to the chilly room filled with dead people, and Dublin Murders is no exception. For all its cadaver-adjacent scenes, the show will call on the Ards Community Hospital in Newtownards to provide the setting.

Drumaness

The Co Down town has been used to roll back the years and bring the show's 80s flashbacks to life. In September last year, locals spied old-fashioned Garda cars in the area, no doubt hot on the trail of the murder case which comes to torment detectives decades later.

Period details like Green post boxes and retro Mr Whippy ice cream vans were also seen, and several homes were reportedly redecorated in vintage style.

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