Irish locals "protecting Matt Damon like a glorious gem"

Matt Damon has been quarantining in a tiny Irish village with his wife and children, and it seems everyone including the locals are loving it.

The Hollywood heavyweight has become one of the world’s “nicest” celebrities and while living in Ireland to wait out the coronavirus, the star says it has been a “fairy-tale”. 

The US-based actor has been renting out a home in Dalkey, Ireland, on the outskirts of Dublin, since early March when he arrived with his family to finish shooting The Last Duel with Ridley Scott.

However, the star, his wife and his three younger daughters chose to stay put rather than rush home on a private jet when the world plunged into a pandemic.

While his presence in the small town was a tightly-kept secret, he was pictured taking a swim with his towel in a supermarket bag.

The sight was quickly reported to a local radio station.

“I honestly feel like I’m about to throw up … this doesn’t seem real,” said Nathan, of the Fully Charged with Graham and Nathan show.

“I don’t know if you are aware but the Dalkey people are protecting you like a glorious gem,” he said. 

Damon laughed at the news and said he had “no idea” but it made him “realise how great this place was.”

“It’s incredible, this is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. Obviously what’s going on in the world is horrible but for my family it timed out.”

The star explained that he moved there for what the family thought would be just eight weeks to shoot the movie.

He and his wife also brought teachers for their three younger children as they would be out of school.

“We’ve got what nobody else has which is actual live human beings teaching our kids. We feel guilty. We’ve got this kind of incredible set up in this place.”

“It feels a little like a fairytale here.”

The woman behind the photo of Damon explained excitedly what happened the day she bumped into him having a swim at a local beach.

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A post shared by Siobhan Berry (@mummycooks) on May 13, 2020 at 5:10am PDT

“We were out for a family swim and we bumped into Matt and his family. It was all very cool – no one else around … just his (and my family) enjoying the freezing cold water and having a laugh!” Siobhan Berry of Mummy Cooks wrote on Instagram.

“As we were all leaving, he very politely obliged for a photo, leaning in with his @supervalu_irl bag keeping the social distance!”

“As he confirmed on the radio, he was holding a bag of swim gear and towels – not cans!!”

She said the pair had initially agreed not to share the photo, but it leaked out via a family WhatsApp group.

“We felt awful and really sorry about the whole situation; we wrote an apology letter to him but never got to deliver it. After hearing him on radio today, he obviously sees the funny side and the fact that the photo ultimately turned into one of the feel-good stories of the early summer.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.