5 Great Irish Movies to Watch This St. Patrick’s Day.

Drink green beer.  Eat green food.  And repeat. That’s what a St. Patrick’s Day celebration is at its most basic level.  I generally don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at all, but since discovering last year that I have a whole lot of Irish in me I’ve decided to make some changes with regard to March 17th.

It started a week ago when I almost bought a Sharmock plant at the grocery store, but decided against it because I was too cheap to spend the $3.  Just like that my Irishness was solidified.

On a roll I thought I might even head out to a local pub this St. Patrick’s Day to drink some green beer and later throw up some green vomit.  I’m not a terribly accomplished drinker (I blame this on not knowing I was Irish until a year ago) and more importantly I don’t own a “Kiss Me I’m Irish” tee shirt.

So it looked like I was going to be spending St. Patrick’s Day at home.  But that didn’t mean I couldn’t do it up right.

Saturday Night I’ll have an earlyish dinner of Pesto (because it’s green and filling just like green beer) and then I’ll light the fire, call someone to complain about weak tea, politicians, and American chocolate before settling on the couch for the night to watch one of these Irish movies.

I haven’t decided which one yet but I have a feeling it’s going to be The Commitments which strangely, I don’t think I’ve ever seen.

If you too plan to skip the pub and stay at home this St. Patrick’s Day because the beer is cheaper at home and unlike that thick, tool pulling the tap, YOU know how to properly pour one – eejit – then you might want to have a look at this list of classically Irish movies too.

Irish Movies to Watch on St. Patrick’s Day.

 

  1. The Young Offenders

 

2. The Commitments

3.  Sing Street

 

4. Handsome Devil

 

5. Waking Ned Devine

 

So, no beer and shenanigans with a bunch of drunk assholes for me.  I’ll just be staying at home for a quiet night with my cats and my sweet, strong friend Jameson.

Have a good weekend!

96 Comments

  1. Kristin says:

    You have excellent taste!
    The Commitments is one of my ALL time favorites!
    I think I have 4 copies of this film. I was living in Ireland during that period so it has extra special significance…

    Here are a few more…

    The Snapper
    The Secret of Roan Inish
    Into The West

    Just to name a few…
    (Photo is of my Irish Cottage)

    • Kristin says:

      Needs a bit of doing up…

    • Karen says:

      I want an Irish cottage! ~ karen!

      • Come have a busman’s holliday in Ireland! Need all hands on deck for the fix it party this summer! Your invited!

      • Jenny W says:

        Ok, now “I” want an Irish cottage! Did you see that place? It’s awesome, Kristin!!! <3 – Spit & Polish
        (Karen, encourage her to start a blog. Hell visit her, and put it on Your blog!)

    • Lucy says:

      A second on “The Secret of Roan Inish” !

    • Beth Kollé says:

      YES on The Secret of Roan Inish, and why was it not on the original list?
      Also, this is a weird one to recommend because it was so badly cast: The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns. I mean, Whoopie Goldberg as the Queen of the Banshees? Leading man Randy Quaid who faxed in his performance? BUT, if you watch it a second time and pay attention to the Irish people and leprechaun dialect, it’s a HOOT!

    • Mary W says:

      Was the Secret of Roan Irish about a missing baby boy and a Sea Lion? I saw it and still remember it many years ago and think it was wonderful but until I saw your comment couldn’t remember the name. LOVE that movie – didn’t completely understand it but that made it more interesting. Is it still available somewhere?

      • Mary W says:

        I found the Secret of Roan Inish on You Tube – the whole movie. Oh, I know what I’ll do tomorrow! It was a “sulky”! This will be fun and thank you Kristen for listing this one for me.

      • Yes, lost baby… but don’t give too much away :)-
        I think it’s on Netflicks or Amazon.
        Again, I have a few copies…
        When I do my ‘Custom Equestrian Tours’ and Sport Horse Sales in Ireland I have a long recommended list of film to get folks in the mood.
        I forgot to mention another favorite that has ties to ‘The Commitments’.
        ‘Once’. really good music too!

        (Photo is of one of ‘my’ horses from Ireland).

        • Karen says:

          Custom Equestrian tour? What’s a custom equestrian tour??? Is it eventing? Do you get to go eventing around Ireland? ~ karen!

        • We hire self-catering castles and go fox hunting, or cross-country training, Dublin horse show in August. Go horse shopping… and gallivanting…
          And most importantly… a hunt ball or big party at the end with all out new horsey friends!

          On that note… Karen, you kindled a fire under me. I had to go back to my old computer to find the photos to send you…
          And OMG I am going down memory lane…

          Hay, here is the BEST Irish music for St. Paddy’s Day
          If you can find it…

          It’s ‘The Chieftains’ The Long Black Veil

          With a whole slew of guests vocals from Mick Jagger and Sinead O’Connor to Tom Jones and Van Morrison… it rocks!
          ‘Changing Your Demeanor’ is my favorite!

          I have listed my old website below…

        • Karen says:

          Love it. Love it all. ~ karen!

    • Beth W says:

      Kristin, will you marry me?

      You’re living my Irish shanty dream! I looked for three years to find a place and gave up recently (we got a cottage closer to home instead)

      Start a blog to share progress pics!

  2. Jani says:

    Only you could make me laugh at a comment that you made about the drunk assholes.
    I have been buried in grief since January 27th when my grandson, Jacob was killed in a rollever crash in his car. He had just turned 21 in December. It’s been a horrible nightmare that I can’t wake up from but you truely came through and made me laugh ! Thanks.

    • Wendy W says:

      So sorry for your loss, Jani.

    • Karen says:

      I am so, so sorry Jani. I don’t even know what to say. Well, there’s nothing that can be said is there. I will do everything in my power to make you laugh again when you’re ready. ~ karen!

      • Jani Wolfe says:

        Thanks! You will never know how much I love your emails and the way you say it like it is. That’s why I laughed because I sure have been have been calling all of my grandson’s so called friends assholes for the past 7 weeks.

    • Teresa says:

      Jani,
      I lost my 23 year old nephew in August to a scuba diving accident. None of his grandparents were living but he was very close to my Dad and I thought it would have killed him if he had been alive. My Dad died in 2015 and I remember Ben getting to his viewing from college and just sobbing. It’s been hard on the family but especially his Dad, my brother, losing his first born and only son. He would have graduated from college with a chemical engineering degree in May. We have set up a scholarship in his name that has been endowed and will help other kids from the area attend the college he loved. So so sorry about your grandson. Life is just not fair sometimes. I’m attaching a photo of my Dad and Ben at the St Patrick’s celebration held in our little community every year a few years ago.

    • SusanR says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Jani. My heart reaches out to you.

  3. Jo Dunaway says:

    I think I’ll go classic: The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.

    • Nooooo – my comment hasn’t been posted yet, but I wrote that this is offensive on so many levels 🙁

      • Jo Dunaway says:

        I agree that the heavy 1950s sexism, violence and ethnic stereotyping is pretty disagreeable, but I first saw the movie in my 20s and what impressed me then and has stayed with me is Mary Kate’s refusal — in spite of attempts to intimidate or humiliate or shame her — her refusal to come to her marriage as less than an equal.

        • Miriam says:

          I agree, and even though some bits depict Irish people (and I am one!) as leprechauns. a lot of it is actually authentic. Maureen O’Hara did a superb acting job in it. It’s hard to believe now, but Ireland back then really was quite like that!

    • Mary W says:

      Was this the movie where she brought her sweet, hornless bull to US west and it died from the brutal winter but produced a good number of offspring? I really liked that movie and loved Maureen O’Hara. Didn’t care much for John Wayne (I know I’m alone in that).

      • Jo says:

        I don’t know that movie. The Quiet Man was set in Ireland.

      • Kathy C says:

        Mary W! That movie was The Rare Breed. It also had Jimmy Stewart and Brian Keith. One of my all-time faves! 🙂

        • Mary W says:

          Thanks Kathy C, I couldn’t remember the title. It may not have been Maureen O’Hara, either. I just remember it was a really good movie and learned a little about butt head bulls and how they came to America. So interesting. I think the long-horns were so dangerous but can imagine a whole generation of cowboys that learned a new way of thinking – must have been as hard as me learning Facebook or my cell phone. LOL

  4. Loreen says:

    Two of my favourite things, being Irish and movies. I will enjoy a flick or two (thanks) with my Guinness and toast those that came from Roscarberry, County Cork and sing…..my girls a corker, she’s a New Yorker….exciting Saturday night can’t wait

  5. Sue says:

    “Waking Ned Divine!” That would be my first pick! So funny! So ☘️ Irish! If you haven’t seen it, at least save it for later. You won’t regret it. (Maybe a tad bit of oversell, ya think?)

    • Marjorie Kramer says:

      Nope! It is a great movie!

    • Mary W says:

      My pick also. I couldn’t help but laugh at the look on fake Ned’s face when ‘the man’ said he would have to do a little research to be sure he really was Ned. My favorite comedy is watching people react.

  6. Jill garrett says:

    Love love the commitments and waking ned devine

    • Elizabeth says:

      Me too, Jill! “If it weren’t for the pigs!” and the “fruity soaps” are some of the most quoted in our family

  7. Kate@CentsationalStyle says:

    Also Leap Year, so charming! Love that movie, great chemistry between Amy Adams and Matthew Goode (yum).
    xo
    Kate

    • Karen says:

      I feel like I never saw that. Did I ever see that?? (How would you know, lol … I’ll go look at the trailer and see if it rings a bell) Thx. Kate! ~karen

  8. Jill garrett says:

    In america, the commitments, waking ned devine, brooklyn

  9. Kris says:

    Whale oil beef hooked. Sounds like a perfect evening. Sláinte 🥃

  10. Kipper says:

    Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin in the Bronx. No one mentioned this quirky movie! Gene Wilder was the title character, an Irish manure salesman.

  11. NinaMargo says:

    Have watched the Commitments so many times I lost count. Two thumbs up not nearly enough! Still have nightmares from Darby O’Gill and the Little People tho!

  12. Come have a busman’s holliday in Ireland! Need all hands on deck for the fix it party this summer! Your invited!

    • Kipper says:

      The link using your name is for a place in Oregon, no mention of a place in Ireland. I was looking forward to reading about helping to get an Irish home party ready!

  13. KL says:

    Sing Street, definitely, and I have seen almost all the aforementioned. Charming movie.

  14. TB says:

    Love, Love, Love The Commitments. I watch it at least once a year.

  15. Kirsten says:

    Where am I watching these movies? I looked for Ned on amazon and Netflix, its not there?

    • Loreen says:

      Ahh that’s one of my favorites, Ryan’s Daughter, Love the beach scenery. David Leon also directed Dr Zhivago & Bridge Over the River Kwai, an impressive movie resume.

  16. Kelly Mudry says:

    Does Ryan’s Daughter with Robert Mitchum and Sarah Miles count as Irish? Set in Ireland just after the 1916 uprising. Believe it was produced by David Lean who also did Lawrence of Arabia. Fabulous scenery

  17. Darlene says:

    You could watch a few episodes of Mrs. Brown’s Boys on Netflix and laugh yer fecking arse off!!

    • Melissa says:

      Karen, great list. And great recommendations from your readers, too.

      Darlene, Mrs. Brown’s Boys is not available on streaming Netflix, but I would love to laugh my fecking arse off. I will look for the DVDs at my library.

  18. Beth W says:

    AAAAHHHHH – how have you not see The Guard? Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle. It’s fantastic. I’m sure there are other fantastic suggestions, but if you haven’t see The Guard yet, hop over to a Jumbo Video, grab some free popcorn, and enjoy (yes, we still have a Jumbo in our neighbourhood)

  19. Jude Eadie says:

    Commitments
    Waking Bed Devine
    Agnes Brown

  20. Momma G says:

    They may not take place in Ireland but Boondock Saints 1 & 2 are my go-to Irish movies.

  21. Kathy Renwald says:

    In Bruges. Because of the Irish actors.

  22. Kathryn says:

    There is now a tv series of The Young Offenders and it’s feckin’, shiftin’, ACE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Young_Offenders_(TV_series)

    And if you haven’t already, you should follow-up The Commitments with the rest of Roddy Doyle’s “Barrytown Trilogy” tales of the Rabbitte family – The Snapper and The Van, film versions of which are similarly cracking.

    Top o’ the weekend to you Karen! x

  23. Alena says:

    I am one of those annoying people that go from sleep to full consciousness in about 1 second – I have always wondered if it’s because I am such a light sleeper and if a mouse farts it will wake me up (I really wish I could sleep like the people that sleep through ANYTHING). As soon as my alarm goes (on my cell phone) I check my email. There is a reason for this – part of my job is to answer questions posted by customers on our many technical forums and since we are a global company, questions often come in the middle of the night. The number of answers I provide counts towards my annual performance evaluation so it’s in my best interest to answer the questions before somebody else gets to them (that is, IF I know the answer).
    So I always see the email announcing Karen’s new post. As soon as I saw the title, I hoped the list would include Ned (I love that movie dearly). Though I think I would probably make it #1.

    I hate St. Patrick’s day. I don’t understand why people – especially those without a drop of Irish blood – see it as a reason to get drunk and cause general annoyance. We have two universities and the shortest way is through a street with most of the student residence buildings. On St. Patrick’s day, there are hordes of people out, half of them already drunk, when I drive home at 5 pm. Bottles of beer everywhere and a ton of mess. One year, one group of guys started to throw bottles on the group on the opposite side of the street. I read in the paper earlier in the year that police are very worried about this year’s St. Patrick’s due to the fact that if falls on a Saturday which will result in even more drunkenness and more shenanigans than usual.
    This has probably convinced everybody that I hate the Irish – I don’t and I would in fact love to visit Ireland (we have an office in Cork so if the company would want to send me on a business trip I would be packed under 5 minutes flat).
    I haven’t see Commitments so I may want that on Saturday and I will keep Ned as a backup (Ned is good for any day of the year and I realized I did not watch it New Year’s Eve like I usually do).

  24. Jane S says:

    OMG. The theme music from The Young Offenders is the theme from Moone Boy. The tv show about Chris O’Dowd’s imaginary childhood friend. Funniest show ever. Not on Netflix but you can find it on YouTube.

  25. Ev Wilcox says:

    My father’s mother’s last name was Quinn, so we always thought we must be Irish. The DNA said “Irish, Scottish, Welsh” so i have declared I am Irish AND Scottish! Unfortunately, I am mostly English, you know, those who steamrolled both countries shamefully. So there you go-my genes fight themselves constantly! And the German ones add there 2 cents in, too! But I am proud of my heritage, none the less. So I live in Ohio, and have done so for 72 years, the state that just keeps on wintering ad nauseam. Sigh…. We will be having slow cooker corned beef with all the trimmings this Saturday and loving it! And cake with Green frosting! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    • Marjorie Kramer says:

      Ev, I just have to tell you that the same thing happened to our family. You should have heard my 95-year-old mom when I read her the DNA results saying we’re English and not Irish. Suffice it to say she wasn’t laughin’ her feckin’ arse off!

  26. NinaMargo says:

    No one’s mentioned Butcher Boy yet. Google it first. You have to be in the right mood. If you’re a Sinead O’Connor fan, it worth watching to see her cameo as the Virgin Mary and spoiler alert: to hear her speak what has become one of my mantras ” For F—‘s sake Francie, let go of the f—— goldfish.”

  27. Jeanne says:

    I liked Ondine and I have heard that Calvary is good, so that is on my list.

  28. I’m SO glad that The Commitments (and Roddy Doyle’s other movies) are popular. True story about The Commitments: I’m from Ireland and saw the movie in Dublin when it first came out. After the movie, we went to a bar next door for a drink. Standing at the bar was none other than Colm Meaney, a few minutes after we had seen him on screen!!

    I’m thrilled that nobody mentioned The Quiet Man. That is offensive on so many levels 🙁

    Great suggestions above, and I will add My Left Foot and Once to the mix.

    • Kim from Milwaukee says:

      I second the vote for My Left Foot and Once!!! Love those two movies! I’ll watch Ned Devine again, too, that’s a classic.

  29. elaine Martin says:

    True story – I’m from Ireland and saw The Commitments when it first came out in Dublin. Afterwards, we went to a bar next door for a drink (of course). Standing at the bar was none other than Colm Meaney!

  30. Rachel says:

    If you rather binge on Irish TV sitcoms, Moone boy is great and has Chris O’Dowd 🙂

  31. Kristina says:

    I’ll put in a plug for The Young Offenders. It is feckin’ hilarious, plus surprisingly sweet and tender. I was expecting an Irish “Dumb and Dumber”, but it’s so much smarter and human than that. My daughter spent a wonderful semester abroad in Galway last fall at NUIG, and remarked upon how the Irish are popularly portrayed here as drunkards, and how that was unfair, because she found them to be no such thing. (Though she did learn to drink whiskey and Guiness while there….)

  32. Marilyn Meagher says:

    I’m in love with Chris O’Dowd and I loved waking Ned Devine ,sing street am the commitments. I will check out some of the others as I too plan on staying g home. Y husbands best friend Jameson will be here too. Lol.

  33. AliceM says:

    I’d like to mention two beautiful animated movies: The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea. Both are beautiful to look at and are about the history and folklore of Ireland. Great for adults and kids.

  34. Kristen Hall says:

    Grabbers- A horror/sci-fi/comedy about a small island off Ireland’s coast being attacked by aliens that can only be fought by drunk people 😉

    Great cast, good writing and a lot of fun!

  35. Mary W says:

    My vote is Waking Ned – comedies always win for me. This was a really fun post.

  36. Danee Bramhall says:

    My favorite Irish movie is War of the Buttons it’s about two close villages and the kids who live there. It will have you shouting with glee, “Tosspot!”

    I’ve watched it dozens of times and someday when my son has kids of his own, I’ll watch it with them. It’s a great film.

  37. Inga says:

    Great list! But my favorite Irish movie ‘In the name of the father’ is missing…

  38. Caroline says:

    I celebrate St. Patty’s day in memory of my Aunt Emma. Place right hand on forehead, roll eyes and say “Jaysus, Mary and Joseph” to Everything.
    Black Velvet Band by the Irish Rovers. As far as getting hard to find DVD’S I go to alibris.com. Always good luck there. Besides, a huge per cent of Amazon’s employees are food stamp recipients (Walmart’s too).
    As we suffer the loss of the ones we love, as the years move on, as we suffer more losses, we begin to ache for the losses that other people experience, too. We carry them all in our memories to our last. When I lost my little boy, 50 yrs ago I remember a thing my mother said that let me breathe again. “Wait for the days to pass, my darling.” In my life now most of my loved ones are gone. I see them very often in my dreams almost like a visit, very undreamlike, always a happy thing. Breathe, my dears. We hold you in your sorrow.
    Caroline

    • Pam'a says:

      Ah, Caroline… You speak beautifully about such a painful thing. My mother’s death (twenty years ago this month) laid me quite low as well, and indeed, it is so hard just to let the days pass… But pass they do. Yes, that old saying is somewhat true about time healing wounds. But it takes FAR too damned long, don’t you think?

      • Caroline says:

        It is long. A lifetime. The raw pain is hardest, nearest but may I share this; make peace with your loves now. It is hardest to resolve their loss when things remain unresolved. Then, in your bereavement, you will feel guilt and anger, ultimately at yourself. “Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest of these, It Might Have Been.”

  39. Vanessa Gillespie says:

    I Love The Commitments, and Waking Ned Divine! What about The Quiet Man? Watch it every year….

  40. Jamieson says:

    I’ll have ye know that being named Jamieson is an occupational hazard on St Paddy’s Day. This year tho I was only offered one free shot of the stuff, prolly because I was not at a proper St Paddy’s Day event, just a regular bar. Truth be told, I’m not a fan, but the Irish in me is a fan of the complimentary nature of the gift (in addition to the complementary nature of the gift).

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