Books, Movies and Music About Ireland

By Family Tree Editors Premium

If you’re not lucky enough to have an Irish pub or parade nearby, don’t fret. Read a book, rent a film, grab the remote or pop in a CD to revel in your roots.


  • 44: Dublin Made Me by Peter Sheridan (Viking Press)—The brother of Oscar-winning director Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) recalls growing up in an eccentric 1960s-Ireland family.
  • Tara Road by Maeve Binchy (Delacarte Press)—Irish divorce, e-mail, laptops and heroin addiction. A recent Oprah selection.
  • Charming Billy by Alice McDermott (Delta)—National Book Award-winner about a sensitive Irish-American who falls into alcoholism after his heart is broken by an Irish lass.
  • A Song for Mary: An Irish-American Memory by Dennis Smith (Warner Books)—Along the lines of Angela’s Ashes, but set in New York City.


  • Angela’s Ashes (1999)—Neither Emily Watson nor Robert Carlyle is Irish, and Rosie O’Donnell lost the race to play Frank McCourt’s mother.
  • Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)—Meryl Streep mastered a brogue in the movie version of the Tony Award-winning play about sisters living in dignified poverty in Ireland in the 1930s.
  • Waking Ned Devine (1998)—A whole village gets involved in a get-rich scheme when a resident dies before collecting his lottery winnings.
  • The General (1998)—Director John Boorman chronicles the notorious life of Dublin gangster Martin Cahill (Brendan Gleeson). Jon Voight co-stars.
  • The Butcher Boy (1997)—A disturbing Neil Jordan movie about a 12-year-old boy (Eamonn Owens) in 1960s Ireland who can’t control his rage.
  • The Boxer (1997)Daniel Day-Lewis plays a former boxer and IRA man who tries to turn a Belfast gym into a demilitarized zone.
  • The Butcher Boy (1997)A disturbing Neil Jordan movie about a 12-year-old boy (Eamonn Owens) in 1960s Ireland who can’t control his rage.
  • The Devil’s Own (1997)—Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford play IRA terrorist and Irish-American cop, respectively, whose crossed paths involve considerable violence.
  • The Van (1996)—Two Irishmen sell fish and chips out of a rundown van during the 1990 World Cup soccer tournament.
  • The Brothers McMullen (1995)—Ed Burns got on the Hollywood scoreboard with his story of three Irish-American brothers dealing with the curse of Catholic guilt.
  • Circle of Friends (1995)—Maeve Binchy’s tale of college life in 1950s Ireland stars Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell.
  • In the Name of the Father (1993)—Daniel Day-Lewis plays an Irishman falsely convicted of bombing a pub.
  • The Snapper (1993)—Colm Meaney is the head of an Irish household dealing with his teen daughter’s surprise pregnancy.
  • Far and Away (1992)—Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman star as Irish immigrants who eventually ride west in search of free land.
  • The Crying Game (1992)—Stephen Rea gets a giant screen surprise in an otherwise-serious movie about The Troubles.
  • The Commitments (1991)—A northern Dublin rock band turns to soul. You can’t get the tunes out of your head.


  • Ellis Island by the Irish Tenors (Music Matters)
  • Celtic Woman by various artists (Valley Entertainment)
  • Otherworld by Lunasa (Green Linnet)
  • Celtic Wedding by The Chieftains (BMG/RCA Victor)
  • Forty Years Of Irish Piping by Seamus Ennis (Green Linnet)