Many reading this will be more than familiar with the sights and sounds of the mart.

The hum of the auctioneer, the clatter of cattle, the shrewd look on faces around the ring.

All part of the buying and selling, the rough and tumble, of sale day.

Now, when you think of a film set, your mind will most likely go to an exotic location and the mart will probably not be your first thought.

However, Gort Mart in Co Galway was in fact recently the location of a film shoot.

Isolation and rural crime

Where the Old Man Lives is a short film about the isolation and rural crime a farmer living on his own (played by Michael Harding) is subjected to.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, the film’s co-director Ruaidhrí Hallinan explains a casting call was put out for farmers to be extras in the mart scenes and they put cattle through the ring for authenticity.

“It was shot on location in Gort Mart. We had a terrific day with 61 extras.

“It was a real authentic mart day. We ran cattle through the ring,” he says.

Hallinan, who directed the film alongside his MagLite Films partner, Eamonn Keane, says rural crime is regularly in the news, but not often dealt with through a creative medium, which is why they set out to make this film.

“We wanted to do a story about a farmer living on their own and touch on themes of rural isolation and rural crime, because there’s a lot of it happening out there.

“We took inspiration from various stories up and down the country, of farmers being tormented essentially, by unwelcome visitors and burglaries.

“We felt it was a story that hasn’t been done on the big screen, surprisingly enough. It’s one of the biggest issues I think affecting rural life at the moment,” Hallinan comments.

The film, which stars well-known actor from The Snapper Ruth McCabe, was also shot in a farmyard in Coole Park in Gort and a house by the coast in Oranmore.


At present, Where the Old Man Lives is in post-production. To date, it has been primarily financed through a GoFundMe page, with MagLite still appealing for donations to finish the film.

Once done, Hallinan says they hope the 20-minute film will qualify for the Galway Film Fleadh.

“We want the world premiere to be in Galway.

“It’s a Galway film, with Galway-based crew and production, so Galway is our number one target.

“If you qualify for Galway, it opens the doors into so many film festivals all over the world,” he said.

“The idea is you try and hit the big film festivals, because there are 100 Oscar qualifying competitions all over the world for short films.

“Once you start qualifying for them, who knows, you could be on the long list for an Oscar someday with a story like this.

“Why not? The cast is there, it was an incredible production and the crew were amazing. I think we’re starting to see a beautiful story coming together that highlights a significant issue,” Hallinan says.