mule never find me | 

Banshees of Inisherin star ‘Jenny the donkey’ living in ‘secret location’

“People might overfeed her with carrots or whatever, or just generally cause her unnecessary distress.”

Jenny the Donkey with Colin Farrell in the movie

Megan Hines with Rosie and Jenny

Colin Farrell on set with Jenny the Donkey

Eugene MastersonSunday World

IRELAND’S most famous donkey Jenny has already been namechecked at both the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards but there’s no chance of her making a red carpet appearance anytime soon to bask in her much deserved limelight.

That’s because the adorable equine star of the Banshees of Inisherin is now living out the rest of her days at a secret location in the midlands.

Her trainer Megan Hines confirms to the Sunday World that despite being age only three ‘Jenny the donkey’ will be shielded from millions of fans of the movie who’ve fallen in love with her.

“The reason why she’s in a secret location, because we wouldn’t want her to be used for any commercial gain, but to live the life she deserves,” she stresses.

“People might overfeed her with carrots or whatever, or just generally cause her unnecessary distress.”

She also had to look after Jenny’s stand-in, Rosie, a 10-year-old donkey which was brought in from England.

Megan is Ireland’s only qualified Connection Training Coach and runs an equine centre near Boyle Co Roscommon which has 11 animals, four of them which are her own, including a mule.

Colin Farrell on set with Jenny the Donkey

The South African born trainer and her British born husband first moved to Ireland seven years ago and were contacted by the Kildare-based Fircroft Animal Actors Centre to help out with the two donkeys.

Jenny the Donkey was sourced and initially trained by Mary Owens and Rita Moloney from Fircroft. Meghan stepped in after Mary took ill, who has sadly since passed away.

Banshees writer and director Martin McDonagh had in mind a miniature donkey to star alongside Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Kerry Condon (Siobhan) in their remote cottage.

Megan reveals the real-life Jenny, which has a white nose and is smaller than Rosie, was sourced in Co Wicklow.

“She is really refined in her characteristics, she has such dainty little hooves and a dainty face and everything,” she beams.

“I had never seen a miniature donkey before so it was a big pleasure to get to work with them, so it was a really exciting opportunity to have.”

Megan initially headed to Inishmore in August 2021, and finished up on Achill Island at the end of October that year and where she was tasked to train the two miniature donkeys (there were other trainers for the other animals).

“We met up with any of the actors that were going to be in the scenes with Jenny, Colin and Kerry in particular,” she recalls. “We wanted the animals to feel comfortable around them for the scenes, which was handy because the animals need to get used to people.”

Rosie was never needed for any of the scenes, and Megan used reward Jenny for doing as she was told with carrots, which is a process called positive reinforcement in which to motivate and pay the donkeys for all their hard work with their favourite currency.

“I think getting her to lie down was maybe the biggest challenge, because I didn’t want to use ropes or force,” she explains.

“I wanted to make sure she was really happy and comfortable. It took her a bit of time to convince, well not convince her – there’s a process called shaping where the animal does the behaviour and then you reward that. You have to kind of wait for her offer her lying down and then reward that. So, it took a bit of time for that.

“I had a brown check blanket and I would just throw that on out onto the ground and she would go up to it and lie down on it, which was really sweet, just like what a dog might do.

“I also had to train her to stay on a mark, sit, lie down, heel like a dog and nudge a box.”

There was also an improvised scene where Jenny robbed a loaf of bread.

“There was one part where she was meant to lie beside the fire next to Padraic but she took off and robbed a loaf of bread which wasn’t scripted,” she smiles.

“I also trained her to walk around the room and scamp out the different areas, to go around the chairs and under the table, so she would get used to walking a different route through the room and go to Colin, so it would look very natural,” Megan recollects.

Megan got to meet the cast and crew again at the Irish premiere in Dublin, but one star was of course missing – Jenny

“You do!,” she exclaims when asked if she got attached to Jenny and Rosie. “ Especially when you’re training them every day, it wasn’t just working with them. You were making sure they were happy and living the best life we could ask for them at the time.

“I haven’t got to see Jenny since, but I’d love to.”

  • If you can help to tell us where Jenny is located please email us at

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