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matt finish Matt Damon wants to return to Ireland and said he hopes he doesn’t ‘screw up’ his Irish folk hero status

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Hollywood legend Matt Damon

Hollywood legend Matt Damon

Hollywood legend Matt Damon

During lockdown 1.0 the people of Ireland took Matt Damon under their wing after he was photographed in Dalkey going for a swim with a SuperValu bag. 

It’s over a year later now and although the Hollywood actor hasn’t made Ireland his permanent home, his status of being an Irish folk hero is cemented.

"Hopefully, I don’t screw it up,” Damon said about the coveted title in an interview with The Irish Times.

“I was so surprised by all of it. Listen, if any of us Hollywood types knew that, you’d see everybody turning up with those Supervalu bags wandering around trying to get their picture taken.

"But no, I didn’t know . . . it wasn’t even like a paparazzi shot or anything, because there weren’t any of those. It was just someone who I grabbed a picture with and I was holding the bag . . . I mean when you’re living there, that’s where you shop.”

Although the actor hasn’t made Ireland his permanent home, it appears he has integrated well into the community of Dalkey.

This weekend he is virtually taking part in the Dalkey Book Festival, which is known for having some high profile guests. This year that includes President Michael D Higgins, US senator Bernie Sanders, The Edge from U2, author Isabel Allende and Prof Brian Cox.

As he got stuck in Ireland due to Covid-19 restrictions, Damon said it was interesting to live here for six months “like locals”, as he and his family wasn’t doing any sightseeing.

The actor is currently in Byron Bay, Australia, as he is filming Thor: Love and Thunder. But, he said the surfer's paradise is nothing compared to Ireland.

“There’s no comparison man, we love it [Ireland] so much,” Damon said.

"One of my daughters said to me just the other day, just out of the blue, she goes, ‘you know, I could live in Ireland.’

"It was such a strange time because we got there just as the lockdown started and we lived there for three months, and then went back to finish the movie and lived under kind of even more draconian rules . . . so it’s funny that they love it so much.

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"I don’t know if there’s something about just the fact that we didn’t do any sightseeing. They just kind of lived there as locals for about six months of last year.”

The Hollywood star said he will definitely return to Ireland and that he made a deal with his children that they would come back and explore once the filming of Thor was finished.

“We made a bargain with the kids that when this all ends we’re going back and we’re gonna do our trip,” he said.

"We all really want to do it, we just felt comfortable there . . . the town is so beautiful and we’re just walking up Killiney Hill, walking over to Mugs [cafe] and getting coffee.

"It was just the best.”

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