The 1943 short film 'Ireland's Golden West' is now available to watch online for free via the Irish Film Institute's IFI Player.

'Ireland's Golden West' was filmed nearly 80 years ago to promote Co Galway as an attractive tourist destination by the Irish Tourist Association (later Bord Fáilte and now Fáilte Ireland). The film provides a scenic history of Galway City and its immediate surroundings.

In warmly glowing colors, the treasures of Galway City are shown: Eyre Square, the campus of University College Galway, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the Galway Races. 

The film also features remarkable scenes of the thatched cottages in The Claddagh Village, one of the oldest fishing villages in Ireland, located just outside the city walls where the Corrib meets Galway Bay.

About the IFI’s Bord Fáilte Film Collection

Some of the largest collections held by the IFI Irish Film Archive come from Government departments and State and semi-state bodies. Apart from their educational and entertainment value in a country that did not have its own television station until 1961, these state-sponsored produced films are noteworthy not only for their high production values and interesting content but also for the caliber of those involved in their creation.

Luminaries of the Irish acting world would often make appearances, and at a time when the Irish film industry was underdeveloped and opportunities for technical training were limited, important figures such as Louis Marcus, Bob Monks, Colm Ó Laoghaire, George Fleischmann, Gerard Healy, and Rex Roberts all found gainful employment in their production.

Films made for Bord Fáilte provide not only a beautiful record of Ireland’s landscape and topography throughout the 20th century but also serve to illustrate the development of the Irish tourist industry and the image that ‘brand’ Ireland was endeavoring to project, as it marketed itself as an international tourist destination.

To view more from Bord Fáilte Film Collection via the Irish Film Institute, click here.

“Ireland's Golden West" is published here with thanks to the Irish Film Institute (IFI), who IrishCentral have partnered up with to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collection entails. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

To watch more historic Irish footage, visit the IFI Player, the Irish Film Institute’s virtual viewing room that provides audiences around the globe free, instant access to Irish heritage preserved in the IFI Irish Film Archive. Irish Culture from the last century is reflected through documentaries, animation, adverts, amateur footage, feature films, and much more. You can also download the IFI Player Apps for free on iPhone, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku.

IrishCentral has partnered up with the IFI to bring you a taste of what their remarkable collections entail. You can find all IrishCentral articles and videos from the IFI here.

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*Originally published in February 2022. Updated in February 2024.