Ireland has long been associated with the arts. The concept of storytelling is delicately interwoven into the very fabric of the Irish psyche, with everyone and their mother able to spin a yarn or tell a tall tale.
As generations have unfolded, Irish cinema has become a beacon for the Irish voice. Whether it is a small-scale indie flick or an internationally received drama, Irish film flourishes.
While there are many Irish movies that warrant recognition on the international screen, there are often ones that, even after receiving accolades, become less talked about.
Here are the top 10 Irish films that only Irish people know about!
10. Michael Collins (1996)
This biopic starring Irish actor Liam Neeson documents the life of the Irish freedom fighter Michael Collins. The socialism activist has gone down in history for his unwavering fight for Ireland’s independence from British rule.
Although the film was American-made by Warner Bros., it seems nowadays that this is an Irish film known only by the Irish people.
9. The Stag (2013)
The Stag is the Irish answer to films like Bridesmaids and The Hangover. This Irish-cast and Irish-made film had an estimated budget of only €600,000 but seemed to garner quite a lot of attention.
The plot follows the engaged protagonist on his stag weekend of mishap and adventure.
8. In The Name of the Father (1993)
This is another American-Irish film that, although it gained quite some recognition, seems to be remembered only by those from the Emerald Isle.
The film tells the story of Irishman Gerry Conlon, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, including his involvement with the IRA and his lengthy pursuit to clear his name in the face of adversity.
7. What Richard Did (2012)
What Richard Did is an Irish drama that gained media attention at home and abroad. The coming-of-age drama was inspired by the real-life death of Dublin local Brian Murphy in 2000.
Although the film was Ireland’s most commercially successful film of 2012, it seems the Irish are the only people to remember this brilliant film nowadays.
6. The Secret of Kells (2009)
This animated Irish feature is a fantasy adventure set in enchanting Irish woods on the Emerald Isle. The film, starring the voice of the great Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, was released in 2009 and received much critical appreciation for its unique approach and charming animated wonderland.
5. The Quiet Man (1952)
The Quiet Man is, in fact, an Academy Award-winning film set and made in Ireland. However, nowadays it seems only Irish people remember this brilliant film!
The feature stars Hollywood golden boy John Wayne and Irish legend Maureen O’Hara and is set in Cong, County Mayo.
4. I Went Down (1997)
This Irish film was released in 1997 and tells the tale of an ex-convict, fresh out of jail, who ends up back in hot water. The comedy-crime features legend Brendan Gleeson and offers some great scenes that won the film its recognition.
Saying that, this is one of those brilliant Irish films that only Irish people know about!
3. The General (1998)
The General is an Irish-American indie-thriller. The film, which is based on true accounts, tells the tale of Irish gangsters, most specifically Martin Cahill (played again by Brendan Gleeson).
While dying at the beginning of the film, the criminal looks back on his colourful life, which frames the body of the film. This is another one celebrated by the Irish but seldom remembered abroad.
2. The Snapper (1993)
This film is based on the novel of the same name by the famous Irish novelist Roddy Doyle. The story tells of a young Irish girl who experiences an unplanned pregnancy in an age where the sheer thought of a child out of wedlock was considered blasphemy.
The indie drama offers insight into human life in Dublin in the 90s and offers a few laughs along the way too.
1. Adam & Paul (2004)
This Irish comedy-drama follows the highs and lows of two drug-addicted comrades as they navigate the streets of Dublin city in pursuit of their next hit.
The film follows a day in the life as the twosome end up in all sorts of mischief, and it is considered a top Irish film. Saying that, it is one of those Irish films that only Irish people know about.