Lights, camera, auction for €400,000 Irish movie and TV props

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Rifles from the 1996 film Michael Collins are set to lead the charge at an auction featuring famous props from four decades of Irish film and TV.

Items from the movie, starring Liam Neeson as the assassinated General, will go under the hammer alongside props seen on screen in The Banshees of Inisherin, My Left Foot and Normal People.

The 1,800 extras and set dressings were supplied by Historic Interiors, a prop hire business founded in 1986 and which has furnished scenes from Game of Thrones to Father Ted, In The Name of the Father and The Crown.

It is putting its entire collection up for grabs in an online auction, valued at €400,000, from December 5-8.

“The prop rifles, which are rubber, can be seen when Collins (Neeson) breaks into the Barracks, but they were also featured in The Wind that Shakes the Barley and every Irish 1916 movie that came out thereafter,” said Killian McNulty of Historic Interiors.

Also of cinematic note is 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.

The spotlight also shines once more on 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.

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,” said Killian.

“He was involved in some furnishing projects of behalf of the 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 eco-system 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, courtesy of auctioneer Aidan Foley, and catalogued by long-time family friend, Niall Mullen.

Viewing is open to the public and will talk place at 60 Prussia Street, Dublin, from December 2-4.

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