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An Irish Goodbye: A 2023 Oscar Winner of the Best Short Film 

An Irish Goodbye is a 2022 black comedy, directed by Ross White and Tom Berkeley. It follows the story of two brothers as they cope with the aftermath of their mother’s untimely death. 

An Irish Goodbye is just 23 minutes long, but in this short span, it captures the uniqueness of Irish culture, local colloquialisms and a truly bittersweet narrative. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the plot of the unique short film, the filming location, the cast and more. 


Did an Irish Goodbye win an Oscar?

An Irish Goodbye deservedly picked up an Oscar for the Best Live Action Short Film, in the 95th Annual Academy Awards. James Martin, who co-stars as the brother Lorcan, was also the first person with Down’s Syndrome to win an Oscar. 

Did an Irish Goodbye win a BAFTA?

An Irish Goodbye is picking up accolades with ease, most recently scooping a BAFTA for the Best British Short Film.

Where was an Irish Goodbye filmed? 

An Irish Goodbye was filmed across County Derry, County Down (Saintfield) and County Antrim (Templepatrick). It showcases the rural and rugged beauty of the Irish countryside, particularly in the opening scenes, where we are met with rolling hilltops as far as the eye can see. 

An Irish Goodbye Cast

An Irish Goodbye features a cast of talented Irish actors, including those with impressive resumes and the upcoming stars to watch out for.

Who plays Lorcan in An Irish Goodbye?

Lorcan is played by the Belfast actor James Martin. 

The Oscar win was particularly special for James as he is the first actor with Down’s Syndrome who has picked up the award; he can now add a BAFTA win to that repertoire as well. James is also an ambassador for Mencap NI, and a rising star to look out for. 

Who plays Turloch in An Irish Goodbye?

The second brother, Turloch, is played by the Ballymena-born actor, Seamus O’Hara. 

Seamus O’Hara has picked up some pretty impressive roles in recent years, such as a part in the 2022 film, The Northman, and a role in the hit Netflix series Shadow and Bone. You’ll be sure to see Seamus hit our screens again in the near future. 

Who plays Father O’Shea in An Irish Goodbye?

Father O’Shea is played by the local comedian Paddy Jenkins. 

You wouldn’t be mistaken for swearing that you have seen Father O’Shea somewhere before, and you would be right. Jenkins held the long-term role of Pastor Begbie in Give My Head Peace. Although he has grown to much bigger stardom since then, we will continue to see him working on our screens in the not-too-distant future. 

An Irish Goodbye plot

The plot follows the story of two brothers as they cope with the loss of their mother. It’s a heartwarming tale that depicts the realities of death, an estranged family coming back together again and the tough decisions that need to be made in the aftermath. 

Is an Irish Goodbye a comedy?

The bittersweet storyline of An Irish Goodbye is also met with highlights of Irish humour. It’s a black comedy that underpins the Irish mentality of coping with hard times through laughter. It’s the coping mechanism of the country and found in the most rural of Irish families.

Particularly comedic moments include the priest referring to the Mother’s ashes as “no more than a tub of Bisto” and Lorcan’s prayer to God when he says, “I probably won’t speak to you again until the next time something goes tits-up.”

What happens in An Irish Goodbye?

Following the death of their Mother, the two estranged brothers attempt to sort through the aftermath and deal with the farmland she has left behind. Brother Lorcan is adamant that he can maintain the farm and he doesn’t want to sell and move from the property.

Brother Turlough, however, feels that Lorcan needs to move in with their Aunt Margaret to be looked after now that their mother has gone. He is planning on selling the farm before he moves back to his home in London. 

100 things on the bucket list 

An Irish Goodbye also features Father O’Shea, who leaves the two men with a note belonging to their mother, a bucket list of 100 things she wanted to do before she died. This sets the precedent throughout the film, featuring many heartwarming moments of the brothers reconciling whilst completing the list in her honour. 

Although it is a little unorthodox in that they use her ashes as the vehicle for completing these activities on the list, i.e.) strapping the ashes to helium balloons because she wanted to take a ride on a hot air balloon, it offers many comic moments which serve as a small relief through the hardships of grief. 

How does An Irish Goodbye end? 

In the context of this film, there are a few Irish Goodbyes, the first in the form of their Mother’s untimely death, and the second in the final scenes of the short film. We don’t really know what happens, whether the farm is sold or if Lorcan continues to maintain it and keep his home. 

One thing is clear at the end though, the brothers are on better terms and there is hope that Turloch sees his brother as a capable man. There is also the final moment of the last thing on the bucket list, the fireworks displays, and although they don’t explicitly show it, we can assume that the mother’s ashes are sent into space along with the fireworks as her final wish so requested. 

What is an Irish goodbye? 

An Irish Goodbye is a term coined for the subtle exiting of a gathering. When someone does ‘an Irish goodbye’ they leave a party or gathering without saying goodbye to other guests, slipping out the back door if you will. 

You might want to do an Irish Goodbye yourself if you don’t want to be tempted to stay any longer. An Irish goodbye avoids those awkward conversations or that usual line of, “Just stay for one more!”. 

The directors of the film, Ross White and Tom Berkeley give the audience An Irish Goodbye of their own. We are left not knowing what will happen, but we got to enjoy their company in the short 23 minutes of the film and observe their journey of reconciliation and reigniting brotherly love and friendship.

This post first appeared on Travel Blog, Culture And Travel Vlogs From ConnollyCove, please read the originial post: here

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An Irish Goodbye: A 2023 Oscar Winner of the Best Short Film 


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