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Private St Patrick’s Day parties? The Cheltenham Festival behind closed doors? Surely there’s a movie in there somewhere. In the meantime, we thought we’d pay homage to Ireland’s cinematic contribution, an unsung hero of the entertainment world.
A is for Accents. Some have been entertaining, if a little dubious, over the years. Brad Pitt, the late Sean Connery, we’re looking at you…
B is for Brosnan. Pierce Brosnan. See what we did there?
C is for The Commitments. Starts with ‘T’, but Alan Parker‘s thoroughly enjoyable musical had to make an appearance somewhere, especially as it’s in the main pic above.
D is for Dublin. The Fair City has been the location for countless movies.
E is for Eejit. Possibly the most endearing insult going, and a word that’s a staple of many a film script.
F is for Folk music. Traditional melodies have been instrumental (pun intended) in capturing the mood on screen.
G is for Guinness. The legendary pub culture usually finds its way into at least a couple of scenes – what else would they be drinking?
H is for Heretic. Ireland’s still relatively new-found, irreverent attitude to religion is none more evident than in film these days. Can you imagine the reaction even fifty years ago?
I is for In the Name of the Father. A candid IRA drama, with Daniel Day-Lewis on his usual top form.
J is for Jaw-dropping. Some of the best scenery in the world can be found here, so small wonder it’s been the setting for such classics as Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan.
K is for Kenneth Branagh. A legendary director, not to mention a walking, talking advert for the power of a few good elocution lessons.
L is for Late bloomers. It’s only in the last two decades where Ireland’s cinematic scene has really come into its own. Why the twentieth century was relatively barren is a question best left for another time, another website, etc.
M is for Meaney. Colm Meaney has been a fantastic servant for both film and country, so much so that it’s very rare for an Emerald Isle flick to make the final cut without his name attached to it somewhere.
N is for Neil Jordan. Were it not for Sir Ken, he’d almost certainly be Ireland’s finest-ever director.
O is for O’. Maureen O’ Hara, Peter O’ Toole and Maureen O’ Sullivan were enjoying stardom and flying the flag while Irish cinema was still a virtual cottage industry.
P is for Pixie. The best Eire movie of the decade so far, also presenting a golden opportunity to plug a recent Roobla article.
Q is for Quite interesting. Did all you Harry Potter fans know that Michael Gambon – aka Dumbledore – is Irish?
R is for Roddy Doyle. Wrote the books that gave us the afore-mentioned The Commitments, as well as the criminally-underrated The Van.
S is for Saoirse Ronan. Child prodigy who went on to star in Atonement and The Grand Budapest Hotel, as well as bag the title role in Mary Queen of Scots. Also played Ed Sheeran‘s “Galway Girl” in the video – yes, that’s who beat him at darts and pool.
T is for Thank God. As in “thank God the appalling Leprechaun franchise has nothing whatsoever to do with the Irish film industry”.
U is for U2. They had to figure somewhere, didn’t they? But when you’ve contributed to the soundtracks of Gangs of New York, the Batman franchise, etc, plus penned one of the best Bond themes in Goldeneye, why not?
W is for The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Another ‘T’, but another movie that demanded a mention. This one’s a 1920s-set piece that provided Cillian Murphy with his first major role.
X is for Xylophone. There must be one in there somewhere. Did a xylophone player audition in The Commitments?
Y is for Yours truly. No, I’m not Irish, but I’m writing this (now increasingly desperate) piece, so in my own little world I like to think I’m making a contribution.
Z is for Zero. The amount of Oscars won by Liam Neeson. Amazingly, he’s only ever been nominated once, for Schindler’s List in 1994.
And on that bombshell, happy St Patrick’s and slainte! If there’s anyone or anything of note that we’ve missed, give them a mention in the feed below.