Published Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Dame Judi Dench sent a personal thank you to the Co Down villages. (© Getty)
The actress spent time in three Co Down villages in 2012 when she arrived to shoot the BAFTA Award winning film, which also starred Steve Coogan.
As a thank you for her time in the villages of Killyleagh, Rostrevor and Bryansford, Dame Judi has sent a personal donation to Killyleagh's charity fundraising efforts.
The village have already sponsored and named one guide dog puppy with the donations received during a charity premiere of Philomena.
Residents Wendy Cromie and Christine Patterson then wrote to Dame Judi to inform her of their progress.
Mrs Cromie said: "We organised the Northern Ireland charity premiere of the film in Downpatrick. Later we were in touch with Dame Judi to explain we had raised £2,500, which we were putting towards buying a guide dog puppy (and) were calling Philomena.
"Now after returning from filming in India, Dame Judi has sent us a substantial donation for our chosen charity, Guide Dogs, so we are set to organise another event which will enable us to buy a second guide dog puppy.''
I send love to you all and hope that one day I will be able to come back again and relive the memorable times we had.
Dame Judi Dench
In her letter to the fundraisers, the actress said she was "thrilled'" to learn of the success of the charity premiere and expressed appreciation for the way residents had welcomed her.
She wrote: "My memories of filming in Ireland were very happy ones, not only with everyone being so welcoming but...(also) meeting a relative and his daughter.
"I cannot help thinking if I had spent longer filming in Ireland I would have met a lot more relatives!"
During her visit to Co Down, the James Bond star filmed in the Dufferin Arms bar in Killyleagh.
Philomena tells the story of a Catholic mother forced to give up her young child in 1950s Ireland.
Dame Judi plays the role of Philomena who is searching for her son.
© UTV News