Old Irish footage filmed by an American news crew a hundred years ago is being colorized for the first time and is incredible to look at.

The archive black and white clips, filmed by an American news crew traveling through Ireland in the 1920s, gives a glimpse into Ireland's past.

The rare footage, now stored in a library collection at the University of South Carolina, gives an insight into the lives of Irish people at the time from cutting the turf to riding horses and carts in the small towns.

After gaining permission from the university, John Breslin, author of the best-seller "Old Ireland in Colour", has taken on the task of updating the videos using advanced color technology.

Another 20 seconds of magic from 1929!

"Katie Laden of Liscannor says her piece"

Catherine Leyden: born in Ballyherragh, Co. Clare in 1919

Fox Movietone News Story 2-915 copyright University of South Carolina @UofSClibraries https://t.co/7KjGHSLWZG@DeOldify #DAIN @topazlabs pic.twitter.com/v9qzLpH4EP

— Old Ireland in Colour (@irelandincolour) October 13, 2021

One clip from the collection is of then-ten-year-old Katie Laden from Liscannor, County Clare reciting a nursery rhyme to the camera. The incredible footage shows a shy Katie saying her piece before breaking into a big smile at the end of the clip.

Speaking to RTÉ News in October 2021, Katie's daughter Denise said that seeing the colored footage of her mother as a child was a special moment, "we are so proud of it... it means the absolute world to us."

ICYMI: "1920s Ireland in Colour" on Sunday's RTÉ News pic.twitter.com/WO2lv8ys4a

— Old Ireland in Colour (@irelandincolour) October 26, 2021

But she added jokingly that her mother wasn't very impressed with the American camera crew. "My mother said to me that she had great poems learned off by heart but instead they told me to recite 'rock a bye baby' to the camera."

Another piece of footage shows a man called Pádraig Ó Maoláin, who is blind, seannós dancing while someone off-camera plays a reel on a melodeon. 

Some damhsa ar an sean-nós from Árainn in 1929 to get you going today! 👞

This is Pádraig Ó Maoláin dancing old style as someone off camera plays a reel on a melodeon 🪗

Movietone outtake 2-890 © @UofSClibraries https://t.co/Iz848FgKGS#DeOldify #AfterEffects #DAIN #TopazLabs pic.twitter.com/uKBJVM16Vn

— Old Ireland in Colour (@irelandincolour) October 20, 2021

Speaking about the feedback he's received since starting the project John said, "The reaction has been amazing and the clips themselves are fascinating and so natural."

You can view other archived Irish footage available at the University of South Carolina here.

Originally published in October 2021. Updated in July 2023.