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Props from host of Irish movies to go under the hammer

Props from some of the most famous Irish movies to hit the silver screen are set to go under the hammer in Dublin.

Convincing looking rifles from the 1996 hit Michael Collins as well as items from The Banshees Of Inisherin, My Left Foot and In The Name Of The Father, and popular television shows Father Ted and Normal People are among the trove.

The 1,800 extras and set dressings were all supplied by Historic Interiors, a prop hire business founded in 1986 and which has also furnished scenes from Game Of Thrones and The Crown.

Its entire collection, valued at 400,000 euros (£347,575), is up for grabs in an online auction from December 5-8.

Prop rifles used in the 1996 film Michael Collins (Niall Mullen/PA)
Prop rifles used in the 1996 film Michael Collins (Niall Mullen/PA)

Killian McNulty, of Historic Interiors, said the prop rifles seen in the hands of Liam Neeson – who played Collins in the biopic film – also featured in The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and most most productions of that era of Irish history.

Among some of the other highlights include the mirror which hangs prominently in the wake scene of My Left Foot and the clock featuring a man with a top hat from Colm Doherty’s (Brendan Gleeson’s) mantelpiece in The Banshees Of Inisherin.

There are also the kitchen chairs used by Emily Blunt’s character in the 2020 romantic comedy Wild Mountain Thyme and a sofa used by Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) in Normal People, the screen adaptation of Sally Rooney’s hit novel.

Historic Interiors was founded by Matt McNulty, former chairman of Bord Failte and adviser to the OPW, and his son Killian.

However Mr McNulty said renting out the items is no longer viable.

A deep-buttoned two seater settee as seen in the television series Normal People (Niall Mullen/PA)
A deep-buttoned two seater settee as seen in the television series Normal People (Niall Mullen/PA)

The auction will see an average of 450 lots a day go under the hammer over four days, from Irish vernacular, industrial, vintage, antique and furnishings.

“Historic Interiors began due to my father’s interest in collecting period furniture and antiques,” Mr McNulty said.

“He was involved in some furnishing projects of behalf of the Irish state, and as word got around, the Irish film industry began to contact him to supply period pieces for their sets.

“We would go shopping at auctions, antique shops and house clearances, striving to find the objects that really tell the story of that era.

“In The Field, the dresser and crockery that The Bull smashes was ours – that was a surprise to us.

“You often will have companies that buy up our props rather than rent them, especially for TV programmes with multiple series, and then when they are finished they sell them on the general market for a low price, which is not a healthy ecosystem as far as we are concerned.

“Our preference is to rent out pieces to the industry and care for them in the meantime, but that is no longer viable.”

The auction will take place in Prussia Street, Dublin, from December 5-8, and online at irishcountryhome.com, courtesy of auctioneer Aidan Foley, and catalogued by antiques dealer, Niall Mullen.