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Directed byDarragh Byrne
Written byCiaran Creagh
Story byDarragh Byrne
Produced byDominic Wright
Jacqueline Kerrin
StarringColm Meaney
Colin Morgan
Milka Ahlroth
Stuart Graham
CinematographyJohn Conroy
Edited byGuy Montgomery
Gareth Young
Music byNiall Byrne
Ripple World Pictures
Helsinki Filmi Oy
Irish Film Board
Suomen Elokuvasäätiö
Distributed byElement Pictures (UK/Ireland)
Olive Films (USA)
Release dates
14 October 2011 (Ireland)
25 November 2011 (UK)
March 2012 (USA)[1]
Running time
94 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
Budget€1.1 million

Parked is a 2011 Irish drama film written by Ciaran Creagh and directed by Darragh Byrne about homelessness, friendship, and the will to survive adversity, whilst still retaining poise.[2] It premiered at the 2010 Torino Film Festival[3]


Having returned from the UK to his native Ireland, middle-aged Fred (Colm Meaney) lives an isolated life in his car, caught in a bureaucratic trap: Without social benefits he cannot afford to rent a room and without a permanent address, he is not entitled to social benefits. That all changes when he forms an unlikely friendship with Cathal (Colin Morgan), a dope-smoking 21-year-old with a positive attitude, who becomes his 'neighbour.' Sharing laughs and the hard times too, Fred and Cathal find some simple, free pleasures of life.

Cathal is determined to make Fred sort out his life and it works. Fred modifies his car, beats the system and makes a friend in Jules, an attractive music teacher who lives alone nearby. But Fred struggles with his pride to tell Jules about his 'home' and Cathal’s life is threatened by his escalating drug habit.

Fred's trust in Cathal is soon thwarted when he discovered Cathal injecting drugs into the veins of his feet. Cathal had sworn he had never injected, even showing Fred his arms as proof. Fred shouts at Cathal and then storms away to see Jules. While Fred is gone, Cathal is attacked by his drug dealer. Beaten and exhausted, Cathal breaks into his dad's house, begging for money. His dad refuses to pay, and Cathal leaves. He then shows up at a bonfire with other drug addicts. They steal his shoes in exchange for a needle. Cathal injects himself in the arm and passes out.

Fred returns to find Cathal's car trashed and his treasured watch broken. He searches everywhere for Cathal, and eventually finds him in the mortuary. Cathal has died, but not before succeeding in improving Fred's life. Jules knows about Fred living in a car, and Fred is on the way to having a place of his own thanks to Cathal's persuasion. In the end, Cathal still managed to save Fred, though he couldn't do the same for himself.


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, Parked has an approval rating of 64% based on 14 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10.[4] On Metacritic, another review aggregator, the film has a score of 47 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[5]


A man who returns to Dublin and has nowhere to live but his car, after working in England for years.
A friendly young man who is a homeless drug addict, but becomes Fred's closest friend.
  • Milka Ahlroth as Juliana (Jules)
An attractive Finnish music teacher and widow, whom Fred is attracted to.
A distant father who blames his son Cathal for his wife's death.
A drug dealer who is determined to get paid, no matter the means.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Name Outcome
Galway Film Fleadh Best First Feature Award Won
International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg Best Film (Main Award) Won
Brussels Film Festival Best Film (Audience Award) Won
Dallas International Film Festival Honourable Mention Won
Irish Film Festival Boston Best Feature Won
Paris Close Up Film Festival MK2 Jameson Best First Irish Feature Award Won
Irish Film & Television Academy Best Actor in a Lead Role Film Colm Meaney Nominated
Best Editing Guy Montgomery Nominated
Best Original Score Niall Byrne Nominated
Best Make-Up and Hair Louise Myler Nominated


  1. ^ "PARKED - a film by DARRAGH BYRNE (Official Movie Site)". Archived from the original on 2017-11-18. Retrieved 2020-12-29.
  2. ^ White, Hilary A (2011-10-16). "Meaney: still cursing after all these years". Retrieved 2020-12-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "PARKED". 2020-12-29. Archived from the original on 2020-12-29. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
  4. ^ "Parked (2012)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  5. ^ "Parked". Metacritic.

External links[edit]