Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds film new Netflix film In the Land of Saints and Sinners in Donegal’s Killybegs Land of Saints and Sinners) rest to welcome refugees from Ukraine

Hollywood stars Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds take a break from filming their latest blockbuster in south-west Donegal to entertain Ukrainian refugees living in the area .

Actors from Northern Ireland who are filming the film “Land of Saints and Sinners” visited up to 80 women and children at the Niall Mór Community and Enterprise Centre in the fishing village, telling them about their life experiences in Ireland and giving gifts to young people .

The conference was hosted by Donegal Local Development CLG (DLDC), a community-led organisation that provides a range of services to most of Donegal, including the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP). Through this initiative, DLDC staff are in regular contact with refugees to ensure they are settled in their new accommodation and local communities.

Neeson and Hinds are close friends and have been filming in the Land of Saints and Sinners in Killybegs, Glencolmcille, Kilcar and surrounding areas since April.

When the couple heard that the Ukrainian family lived locally, they expressed interest in meeting them, and the film’s production team reached out to DLDC to see if it could facilitate the meeting.

The Niall Mór Community and Enterprise Centre offers English classes for refugees and recently held an open house for them. It was agreed that the centre would host visits from two Oscar-nominated actors and invited around 80 Ukrainians from three different parishes, Kilcar, Carrick and Glencolmcille.

A spokesman for the Niall Mór Centre said: “When we heard that Liam Neeson and Ciarán Hinds were at the centre last Thursday, everyone was very excited. It’s not every day that stars like them come here. .

“We thought it would only be a 15-minute meeting, but in the end, the two stayed for a few hours.

“When they arrived, they introduced themselves, took questions from the women, and gave all about 40 children, candy bags and coloring books to take away.

“The women told them what it was like to live in Ireland now and how everyone was so generous and welcoming to them. They told both actors they loved it and thanked all the support.

“These guys were very generous with their time and met all the staff. They were all so down to earth, pleasant and friendly; just two gentlemen really.”

The spokeswoman said the women and children were familiar with the work of one of Hollywood’s most famous actors, movie star Neeson. But they were thrilled when they found out that Hinds was recently nominated for an Oscar for playing Kenneth Branagh’s grandfather in the film Belfast.

“Liam went out of their way to tell them that Ciaran was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, which caused a lot of cheers,” the spokesperson said.

“The kids made posters for them and two took it.

“It was all lighthearted and the visit really made everyone happy.”

DLDC community development manager Margaret Larkin said Neeson and Hinds’ visit was a huge boost for refugees.

“When we heard the actors wanted to meet the refugees, we arranged for a bus to transport them from three different areas to Killyberg,” she said.

“We have an interpreter working in the area, she’s been living here for a few years, and she’s able to help everyone understand what’s being said.

“Liam and Ciaran signed, posed for pictures, and heard from the women how much they enjoyed living here.

“It was a pleasant, informal day for all involved, one that everyone at Niall Mór will always remember.”

Neeson is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and Hines joins Kerry Condon and Jack Gleason in a new film written by Mark Michael McNally and Terry Lorne.

The Land of Saints and Sinners is set in a remote Irish village, where a recently retired assassin finds himself drawn into a deadly game with three vindictive terrorists.

Filming is underway, and a release date for the film has yet to be set.