The comedy classic features much-loved Irish actor Jimmy O’Dea, playing a salesman working along the Irish Border who runs into trouble when he encounters jewel thieves. Cross-border rivalry plays out between a Garda, played by Noel Purcell (Moby Dick, 1956 and Mutiny on the Bounty, 1962) and a Northern RUC man. Shot in the County Louth villages of Carlingford and Greenore, the film uses the border as a playful plot device. On the centenary of the enactment of partition (May 2021), the film is an intriguing artefact of cultural heritage which displays stoic attitudes to the existence of the border itself.
Blarney has recently undergone meticulous 4k digital restoration by the IFI Irish Film Archive from source material at the BFI National Archive and UCLA Film and Television Archive, with support from the Creative Europe MEDIA programme.