On location for a film adaptation of the Edna O'Brien novel 'The Country Girls' starring Sam Neill.

Hunter's Hotel is one of the many locations around the village of Rathdrum in County Wicklow being used for the production 'The Country Girls' by Edna O'Brien. The budget for the film is three quarters of a million pounds and it is being financed by the Irish Film Board, London Films, and Channel 4.

The leading role of Kate is played by Maeve Germaine and student drama teacher Jill Doyle is playing Baba. Both actresses are adapting their techniques for film and enjoying the whole film-making process.

Actor Sam Neill thinks Maeve and Jill are fantastic actresses and is impressed with how well they are performing considering their lack of film experience.

I think it will be a very good little film.

The film’s director Desmond Davis is also full of praise for the young actresses. Davis is no stranger to filming Edna O’Brien’s work, having already made ‘Girl with the Green Eyes’, based on ‘The Lonely Girls’, the second novel in ‘The Country Girls’ trilogy.

While attitudes to O’Brien in Ireland may have softened since the 1960s, Davis came against opposition when he wished to film in a convent as the clergy considered it anti-Catholic.

Some attitudes haven't changed you might say.

Desmond Davis and Edna O’Brien became friends and he believes her work lends itself to film as the dialogue is so true.

I think she is a wonderful writer, I think she writes straight from the heart, and she has wonderful intuition.

Desmond Davis would very much like to direct the conclusion of the trilogy ‘Girls in Their Married Bliss’.

This episode of ‘Ireland's Eye’ was broadcast on 17 May 1983. The reporter is Maria Keating.