A Carrick-born author has called on the makers of the popular Game of Thrones series to consider the castle as a filming location.
Crime writer Adrian McKinty suggested the medieval landmark was ‘going to waste’ during a recent trip back to the borough.
The author of the acclaimed Sean Duffy series told the Times: “I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones. I’d actually read the books long before the series was made and before it was shown I visited the Great Wall set in Magheramorne which is next door to my granny’s old house.
“But I don’t understand the logic of the location scouts. They’ve filmed at Red Hall in Ballycarry about ten times and to get there presumably they’ve had to drive past Carrick castle. It’s a perfectly good castle going to waste!”
Born and raised in Carrickfergus, McKinty emigrated to the United States after graduating from university.
He now lives in St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne.
“I come back every year either in summer or winter. My mum, little brother, both sisters and my aunt all still live in the area. And of course cousins, nephews and nieces,” Adrian said.
In an interview with BBC Arts Extra during his recent stay, the award-winning author alluded to his hometown’s literary links. “Louis MacNeice of course grew up in Carrickfergus and wrote about it. Jonathan Swift wrote a Tale of a Tub and possibly sketched Gulliver’s Travels while in Carrick. Trollope lived at Whiteabbey and visited Carrick often, writing The Warden while he was in East Antrim,” he said.
“Even Philip Larkin visited Carrickfergus as I discovered in his Collected Letters.”
An interest in crafting his own fiction came a little later in life for the Oxford graduate. “I never really thought about becoming a writer. I didn’t do English at A-Level and at Uni I went onto to do law and philosophy. I suppose I came to writing quite late in life which gives hope to all the late bloomers out there in whatever field you undertake,” he said.
The town itself has grown considerably since McKinty’s childhood, also the time frame covered by the Duffy novels. “It has gotten a lot bigger since I left school in the 1980s. It used to be that Coronation Road, where I grew up, was right on the edge of the countryside but now the boundary has been pushed back about half a mile,” he added.
“I like the new shops in Carrick - its great having a Tesco and the quality of the restaurants has improved since the 1970s and 80s. Also I think they’ve done a terrific job with the interior of the castle - it used to be a hit of a hodgepodge in there but now it looks great.”
The writer’s blog features a number of videos shot during his recent visit, depicting ‘Duffy’s Carrickfergus’ as it is today. “A fan asked me to film Duffy’s house on Coronation Road,” McKinty said.
Adrian McKinty’s blog is available at adrianmckinty.blogspot.co.uk.