Ireland is beautiful all-year-round but spring is when it really blossoms. Produced by Colm O’ Laoghaire (director of the Amharc Éireann newsreels for Gael-Linn) this film is a celebration of all things Irish and a delightful window on 1950s Eire.
The film focuses on An Tóstal (Irish for “The Pageant”) which was a series of festivals and events established in 1953 to celebrate Irish culture and draw more tourists to the country. The wealth of events and happenings the country are shown. In Dublin President Sean T. O’Kelly launches a parade featuring flower-festooned floats from Aer Lingus while outside The Pale we see Gaelic football and hurling, fly fishing in Lough Corrib, and a traditional music festival in Ennis.
The film was produced in 1957 for Bord Failte Éireann and released in 1958. An Tóstal events were hosted around the country from 1953 until 1958 when they ended everywhere except in Drumshanbo in Co Leitrim where an annual festival still takes place today. The local pride engendered by An Tostal inspired annual clean-up plans which were formalised into the National Tidy Towns Award, which is still going strong.
To see more of The Bord Fáilte Film Collection click here.
With kind permission of Fáilte Ireland.