5 classic Irish films you need to watch on St Patricks Day

Infuse yourself with Irish soul thanks to The Commitments and these classic movies.

The Commitments (1991)
The Commitments Alan Parker's Oscar-nominated classic is one of the best Irish films around. Image Picture 20th Century Fox

Come one, come all to celebrate the day of St Patrick.

A day where Irish people celebrate their culture and non-Irish folks tell everyone how Irish they actually are in a bid to get some drinks in.

You can celebrate the culture of the Irish by sampling fine Irish whiskey, eating some wonderful food, or go one step further and watch a classic Irish movie. Watch all these and you can finally call yourself a fully-fledged Paddy.


The Snapper

You can’t have a list of Irish must-watch films without The Snapper. 

The second of the ‘Barrystown’ trilogy, The Snapper is one of the finest black comedies in Irish film history.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle, The Snapper is a 1993 Irish television film which starred Tina Kellegher, Colm Meaney and Brendan Gleeson. It tells the tale of the Rabbitte family and their domestic adventures. There’s also young Sharon Curley who becomes pregnant, but refuses to tell anyone who the father is. 

A must-watch for anyone who can’t enough of Dublin slang and the unique humour of the Irish. 


Michael Collins

Revolutionary Michael Collins (Liam Neeson) leads the Irish Republican Army with the help of Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn) and Eamon de Valera (Rickman) in a violent battle for Ireland’s independence from Britain.

Scottish folk yearning for independence or the patriotic among the Irish will get a kick out of this. Maybe not so great if you’re a member of the royal family.


The Commitments

Recently wrapping up a stint at London’s West End, The Commitments is a 1991 comedy-drama film directed by Alan Parker.

A screen adaptation of that man again, Roddy Doyle’s 1987 novel The Commitments, the film tells a story of working class Dubliners who form a soul band.

The film centres on the band’s manager, Jimmy Rabbite, who aspires to lead the world’s greatest band – helped by his friends Outspan, played by a young Glen Hansard of Frames fame, and Derek.

Rabbite holds auditions and assembles a band that’s still spoken about long after they’ve broken up. A must-see for the soul music lovers out there.



A heart-breaking tale of Josie’s (Pat Shortt) life in a tiny town, which revolves around a menial job taking care of a garage that could close at any day. Things change, however, when the son of his boss’s girlfriend, comes to work with him. Josie hangs out with the son David (Conor Ryan) and his friends, and despite being a grown man himself enjoys the new company – but due to Josie’s learning disability he is blinded to potential dangers.


Between the Canals

Between the Canals follows the story of three small-time criminals from Dublin’s North Inner City, on St Patricks Day, as they each aspire to make something of themselves. Liam (Dan Hyland) is plotting an escape from the life he lives, Dave (Peter Coonan) hopes to move up the criminal pecking order, while Scratcher (Stephen Jones) is happy to coast along.

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