The strict secrecy surrounding filming over Lough Sheelin, which culminated in a fireworks display lighting up the night sky on Monday, August 25, has sparked rumours that the event was commissioned for U2’s latest music video.
Rock legends Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen are currently working towards the release of their thirteenth studio album following a five-year hiatus.
The band has, in recent days, been suspected of filming in Dublin, only for claims to be made that the closed set on Samuel Beckett Bridge at the weekend was for “an up and coming band” named ‘Summer Nights’. The phrase ‘summer nights’ is contained in the lyrics for ‘With or Without You’.
The Cavan shoot took place over several hours at Kilnahard pier, on the northwestern shore of the lough. Cavan County Council have confirmed to The Anglo-Celt they were aware filming was taken place on the lake, that a two-day filming permit was attained, and that gardaí and the emergency services were also placed on notice.
The Celt understands that filmmakers were forced to seek an alternative location for filming beyond the confines of the capital given the magnitude of the pyrotechnic explosion to be shot.
Black Powder Monkey Limited from Castletown, Finea, the pyrotechnic company to whom the permit was granted was uncontactable at time of going to print.
Meanwhile, Dublin-based video production company, Pull The Trigger, who the Celt understands were involved in the Cavan shoot, and also in the filming which took place on the Beckett Bridge, had “no comment” to make when contacted by this newspaper.
Adding to speculation that Ireland’s most famous rock act has chosen a rural part of the county as a location for their new video is the fact that Pull The Trigger was heavily involved in shooting ‘The Sweetest Thing’ video for U2 in Fitzwilliam Square in 1998.
Furthermore, a picture of a clapperboard used in filming in Dublin, now posted across social media sites shows the name ‘M. Romanek’. The award winning director most recently spearheaded the filming of U2’s music video ‘Invisible’.
When U2 were recently spotted filming in the famous Riviera studio in the south of France, a ring of steel was erected around the entire area to ensure no leaked footage emerged, with dozens of trucks seen bringing equipment into the studio. However, there was no such high-security on show at Kilnahard Pier, where locals gathered in droves to watch events on the night unfold.
By Tuesday morning, work crews were on site to dismantle the scaffolding used the night before to support the professional filming equipment.
Rumour is rife as locals are left wondering who was behind the mystery filming.“It’s created a great bit of buzz around the place. They kept very much to themselves, didn’t say a lot. I don’t think they told anyone what they were doing there or who they were filming for.
“I suppose they had a job to do and that was that,” one local told The Celt. She added that the only information they did learn was that the shoot was to form part of “a musical backdrop”.
“It was all done and wrapped up soon after midnight and the crews packed up and were away then.”
Another estimated that tens of thousands of euro worth of fireworks were let off to create the incredible spectacle and for the production crews to catch what they needed on film.
“It was a spectacular event, really incredible. A once in a life time thing to see”, she said. “If it was for someone like U2, what a great thing that would be.
Local man John Brooks, who lives on the banks of Lough Sheelin spent hours wading through soft swamp to catch a glimpse of what was taking place out on the lake. He adds that earlier in the day, after rumour first broke that U2 might be filming at the location, he saw a blacked out luxury bus type vehicle travel in convoy with other “expensive looking” cars.
He described the fireworks show going on about for three-and-a-half hours, “in blasts of five a time or what have you.
“The actual road down to the pier was closed off, so I spent hours standing in freezing cold water and in the reeds to get a good look at what was happening.
“At one stage they had something like a laser show which took place, and big spot lamps which they were beaming right up into the sky. Whatever they were at, whatever it was for, it definitely was a big deal.
"Apart from the rigs they had for letting off the fireworks they had two or three boats patrolling making sure no one could get near from the water”, he said.