Many Americans visiting Ireland for the first time have a stereotypical view of what Ireland is. They expect thatched cottages around every bend, sheep dotting the landscape, dancing at the crossroads, rainbows and leprechauns. Although I have yet to meet a leprechaun I have seen plenty of rainbows and sheep. But – alas – thatched cottages are a dying breed and to find them you must go searching or stumble across them.
In this “Hollywood” film of a bucolic Ireland of 1934 I can read between the lines and see plenty of hard work and poverty. Much as we tend to romanticize old Ireland it was and is a real place where people live and not the Disneyland of our imaginations. Those traveling to Ireland can find remnants of the past everywhere but they should leave their rose-colored glasses at home. Instead they can enjoy Ireland of today with enticing glimpses of Ireland’s storied past.
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