In 1953, the charming town of Drumshanbo, nestled in Co Leitrim, hosted a vibrant and jubilant St. Patrick's Day celebration.

The occasion was immortalized by Pathé Newsreel, the renowned news agency known for capturing and documenting significant events of the time.

The footage, though brief, shows townspeople heading to a traditional ceili at the crossroads - either on foot or by carriage.

"The main thing is to get to the ceili and dance," the newsreel announcer says.

The traditional Irish dancing takes place at the crossroads, while some locals look on.

“On goes the céilí until late in the afternoon,” says the announcer. “Plenty of singing and dancing to give an old fashioned twist to the ever new St Patrick’s Day.”

Through this Pathé footage, we can relive the magic of that day, as the Co Leitrim community came together to celebrate Ireland's patron saint in true Irish style.

Let's step back in time and delve into the joyous scenes depicted in the Pathé Newsreel of the 1953 St. Patrick's Day celebration in Drumshanbo:

Pathé Newsreel, founded by Charles Pathé in France in 1896, was a pioneer in capturing and distributing news through film. Their newsreels were shown in cinemas, providing audiences with the latest happenings from around the world. The Pathé cameras were renowned for their ability to document historical moments, both significant and heartwarming, which have become invaluable records of the past.

This Pathé newsreel footage captured not only the vibrant celebrations but also the profound significance of St. Patrick's Day in Drumshanbo. It was more than just a day of revelry; it was a testament to the enduring cultural heritage of Ireland and a reminder of the strong sense of community that bound the people of Drumshanbo together.

H/T Leitrim Observer, Forgotten Ireland

* Originally published in November 2017. Updated in May 2024.