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The Boys from County Clare

The Boys from County Clare is a 2003 Irish comedy/drama film about a céilí band from Liverpool that travels to Ireland to compete in a céilí competition in County Clare. Directed by John Irvin, the film was released in Canada on September 12, 2003 and in the U.S., on a limited release, on March 13, 2005.

The Boys from County Clare
CountyClare poster 800.jpg
Directed byJohn Irvin
Produced byWolfgang Esenwein
Evzen Kolar
Ellen Dinerman Little
Bill Kenwright
Written byNicholas Adams
StarringBernard Hill
Charlotte Bradley
Andrea Corr
Colm Meaney
Stephan Brennan
Eamonn Owens
Shaun Evans
Ian Shaw
Brendan O'Hare
Music byFiachra Trench
CinematographyThomas Burstyn
Edited byIan Crafford
Distributed bySamuel Goldwyn Films
Studio Hamburg WorldWide Pictures
Release date
  • September 12, 2003 (2003-09-12) (Canada)
Running time
90 minutes
United Kingdom
Budget$8 million
Box office$132,000 (U.S. theatrical release)

The film was entitled The Boys and Girl from County Clare for the U.S. release and The Great Ceili War for the U.K. release.


Set in 1965, Jimmy McMahon (Colm Meaney) is an Irishman living in Liverpool who directs a céilidh band of young men who go to a competition of traditional Celtic music in Ireland in County Clare. A native Irish band directed by John Joe McMahon (Bernard Hill) is also present to compete as well, with animosity between Jimmy and John as they are brothers. The two brothers could not be more different, as they have taken different paths. There are multiple surprises for them as the competition takes place, with a familial twist at the very end.




The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 46% based on reviews from 28 critics.[1]


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