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Ireland in film: (Lucky) seven notable movies to watch set in the European country

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Wednesday this year, most of this year’s celebrations will have likely taken place over the weekend, but there’s no reason they ought to end there.

Here’s a list of (lucky) seven notable films set in Ireland ranging from the comic to the tragic to help you get into the spirit on the day.

“Leap Year”

Successful real estate stager Anna Brady (Amy Adams) grows tired of waiting for her boyfriend to propose. After hearing about tradition holding that no man can refuse a woman’s proposal of marriage on leap day in Ireland, Anna decides to take a chance. Anna arranges to meet her boyfriend in Dublin, but the moment her plane touches down in Ireland, nothing goes according to plan.

Lost in the Irish countryside, Anna hires an innkeeper (Matthew Goode) to help her find her way back to Dublin and her boyfriend in time to propose. But along the way, Anna finds herself more drawn to the journey than the destination. “Leap Year” is available on Amazon Prime Video.

“Waking Ned Devine”

When the residents of Tulaigh More, an Irish town of 52, discover that the latest winner of the national lottery is among them, the hunt begins. The winner, Ned Devine, is found dead of an excitement-induced heart attack with the ticket still in his hand.

Ned has died without claiming the winnings, so if the lottery officials discover his death, the nearly 7 million pound jackpot will be lost. To prevent this, the villagers concoct an elaborate ruse in hopes of sharing the winnings among themselves. “Waking Ned Devine” is available on Hulu and Apple TV.

“Sing Street”

Trying to save money, Conor Lawlor’s father decides to move him into a less expensive but, he claims, equally rated high school. Conor initially struggles to settle into Synge Street Christian Brothers School, but when he meets aspiring model Raphina, his whole world changes. After starting a band in an effort to impress Raphina, Conor and his friends realize that their fake band might actually have potential. “Sing Street” is available on Amazon Prime Video.

“Derry Girls”

Nearing the tail end of “The Troubles,” an ethno-nationalist period of conflict in Northern Ireland, a group of mischievous high school friends in Derry – Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson), her cousin Orla (Louisa Harland), their friends Clare (Nicola Coughlan) and Michelle (Jamie-Lee O’Donnell) and Michelle’s English cousin James (Dylan Llewellyn) – attempt to navigate through their teen years at a Catholic girls’ secondary school. “Derry Girls” is available on Netflix.


A 30-something busker (Glen Hansard) and a young Czech flower seller (Markéta Irglová) bond over their love of music in Dublin. Singing and playing together, the two gradually open up about past heartaches and encourage each other to fix their respective relationships. “Once” is available on Hulu and HBO Max.


In 1951, Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) leaves her home in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, a small town in southeast Ireland, where she lives with her mother and sister, Rose, to find work in the United States. In Brooklyn, Eilis enrolls in a bookkeeping course in hopes of studying to become an accountant. At an Irish dance, Eilis meets Tony Fiorello. Their relationship intensifies.

But when Eilis’ sister suddenly dies back in Ireland, she leaves Tony and returns home to help her mother. Tony proposes, and the two marry secretly before she leaves. But back in Ireland, Eilis’ life becomes even more complicated, and her path back to the States becomes uncertain. “Brooklyn” is available on YouTube and iTunes.

“The Wind That Shakes the Barley”

Set during the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” follows Damien O’Donovan, a young doctor torn between joining the Irish Republican Army and the belief that their war is unwinnable.

But after witnessing one too many tragedies at the hands of English soldiers, Damien finally decides to join. “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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