Win a jumper from the 83-year-old knitter behind the cosy pieces in The Banshees of Inisherin

meet the knitter behind the cosy 'banshees of inisherin' jumpers
Meet the 83-year-old knitting jumpers for filmsPaul Byrne / Greystones Guide

You're never too old for your talents to be noticed - including in Oscar-nominated films. 83-year-old Delia Barry has become an internet sensation for her knitwear, with four pieces appearing in The Banshees of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan.

She's fast become an internet sensation, garnering attention on social media. “It’s pure madness,” she said. “I’ve knitted so many jumpers, they are just another jumper to me.” She hopes to see the film a second time soon, she told the New York Times, to better appreciate the acting and Martbin McDonagh’s direction. “When I went the first time, I was just looking for the knitwear,” she said.

colin farrell and barry keoghan in the film the banshees of inisherin photo by jonathan hession courtesy of searchlight pictures © 2022 20th century studios all rights reserved
Colin Farrell and Barry Keoghan can be seen in Delia’s knitwear throughout the film. | Credit: Searchlight PicturesPhoto Credit: Jonathan Hession

With 75 years of knitting under her belt, Delia is a master at her craft. When she's not indulging in another of her favourite pastimes, bingo, the octogenarian can be found with needles and yarn - having first picked up the skill at school in Cahir, County Tipperary, aged just 7.

The talented craftswoman knitted throughout her marriage, but her commitment to the craft increased following the sad passing of her husband in 2010, at which point she began knitting to raise funds for Greystones Cancer Support. The charity is located in County Wicklow, her husband's birthplace, and where Delia now resides.

Her knits were commissioned for The Banshees of Inisherin by its costume designer, Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh, who has originally come across Delia's work when sourcing knitwear for a 2017 television adaptation of 'Little Women'. Another woman in the production team knew that Delia had already helped with other films, even crafting knitwear for Meryl Streep.

“Ireland is very small,” Eimear told the New York Times. “It’s all word of mouth.”

Part of her success, Delia believes, is her willingness to take on jobs without being given patterns - no easy task. The Banshees of Inisherin is set on a fictional island in 1923, toward the end of the Irish civil war, so Delia used a magnifying glass to study photographs of Irish fishermen from the 1920s.

meet the knitter behind the cosy 'banshees of inisherin' jumpers
(Left) Delia knitted four jumpers for the film. Credit: Paul Byrne/Gladstone Guides | (Right) Colin Farrell is one of the actors who wear Delia’s knits. Credit: Searchlight PicturesVarious

The jumpers in the film were all knitted during one of Ireland's COVID-19 lockdowns, each one taking a week to finish. As she lives alone, Delia finds knitting a therapeutic way to pass the time. "It kept me sane," she admits.

Not one to sit idle, Delia has no plans of slowing down soon: “I’m not past it yet.” It's true - she's already working on pieces for another new film with Eimear Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh.

“Because you get older, it doesn’t mean that you’re not useful anymore,” Delia says. “There’s a lot we can do if we want to.”

You now have the chance to win one of Delia's high-quality custom knits. Greystones Cancer Support is running a charity raffle where the lucky winner can choose between four different designs in their choice of wool - a wonderful and unique prize, we think!

Enter now

Greystones Cancer Support is a community-based cancer support group that offers guidance, encouragement and support to cancer patients and their families.

Learn more

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