Mel Gibson is to direct and star in Braveheart, the most expensive film ever made in Ireland.

Braveheart with a budget of over $70 million will be shot at Ardmore Studios and at various locations throughout Ireland.

It'll have a budget five times the size of Jim Sheridan's Oscar nominated 'In The Name Of The Father' and twenty six times bigger than 'My Left Foot'.

Mel Gibson is one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood and his movies guarantee huge box office receipts. 

The production will mean a worldwide boost for Ireland's film industry. Braveheart tells the story of the Scot William Wallace and his struggle against the English in the thirteenth century. 

The decision to film in Ireland came as a result of negotiations between Mel Gibson and Minister Michael D Higgins.

It means a very great deal to the Irish film industry because it's a most significant step in establishing us as a major player in filmmaking.

The value of  this film alone to the Irish economy is about thirty million dollars and it has been agreed that seventy five per cent of the production crew will be Irish. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 6 May 1994. The reporter is Colm Connolly.