Antrim transformed into Normandy as Bond star films in the town centre

THERE was flurry of activity in Antrim last week as Market Square was transformed into a Normandy town and hosted none other than former Bond star Pierce Brosnan.

In his upcoming film, The Last Rifleman, he’ll play a World War II veteran living in a care home in Northern Ireland who has just lost his wife and plans to visit the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

The film, inspired by true events, is supported by Northern Ireland Screen and is being filmed in Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The Last Rifleman is directed by Belfast native, Terry Loane, who is known for his film Mickybo & Me.

Loane also wrote In The Land of Saints and Sinners, a film starring Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds, and Colm Meane which was recently filming in Donegal.

Mr Brosnan, who was heavily made up to look like a man in his 90s, was spotted filming at Antrim Castle Gardens near Clotworthy House and in Market Square, which was transformed into St Mere Eglise, a key location in the D-Day landings.

The town centre was transformed, with DV8, Re:Store and Drop Inn were turned into a souvenir shop, an antiques stall and a Cafe Tabac.

The Old Courthouse even doubled up as an ice-cream parlour.

Barney’s Bar also hosted cast and crew during lunch breaks as a large crew of British and French staff descended on the town.

Local people waited for hours for a glimpse of Mr Brosnan and were not disappointed - after filming stopped, he happily signed autographs and posed for pictures.

Mayor Stephen Ross, DUP party colleague Councillor Paul Dunlop, SDLP rep Noreen McClelland and council staff including Sammy Hyndman, Garden Operations and Development Manager at Antrim Castle Gardens and Ursula Fay, Director of Community Planning, were among those enjoying the buzz in Antrim on Friday.

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