Thousands of nursing home residents enjoy positive trips down memory lane through old film archive

Nursing Homes Ireland / Irish Film Institute Reel Memories initiative extended to August 2018

Residents in nursing homes across Ireland will continue to enjoy special trips down memory lane through the broadcasting of classic Irish films and advertisements. The Nursing Homes Ireland / Irish Film Institute Reel Memories Initiative has been extended into August due to popular demand. Residents, staff and visitors to nursing homes have been gathering to watch IFI Irish Film Archive’s Bord Fáilte, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Irish Adverts Project collections. Special screenings have been hosted within nursing homes since the initiative was launched mid-June. The films have brought very special and happy memories to nursing home residents and facilitated great discussion and stories of times past within our nursing homes.

Deepa George, Director of Nursing at Middletown House Nursing Home in Co Wexford, states: “Residents in Middletown House spent an excellent afternoon watching the Reel Memories films with Patricia, our Activities Coordinator. They thoroughly enjoyed the films that brought back great memories of a more simplistic Ireland and their viewing brought great joy and happiness. In particular they loved the Irish Riviera film from the 1930s that showcased the sunny south coast. In watching the films, residents commented in particular on how Dublin has changed over the past 40 years, with special comments reserved for the old CIE buses. The showing of the films generated tremendous memories, joy and discussion amongst our residents.”

Anne Foley, Registered Provider at Griffeen Valley Nursing Home in Lucan, Co Dublin states: “The Reel Memories films were a delight to watch.  They sparked great conversation between residents, staff and visitors.  They invoked several afternoons of chat and song that brought residents on a wonderful trip down memory lane.  Black and white TV, having to physically get off the chair to change one of the 3 channels that were available, and the fact that TV’s weren’t as thin as a digestive biscuit were some of the off-side conversations that were had.  The films generated wonderful discussion amongst residents and staff about day-to-day life in Ireland times past. Our residents were delighted to watch the old films from the Film Institute’s archive and they created lots of happiness and positive reminiscing within the Griffeen Valley.”

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “We’re delighted Reel Memories has proven a great success, with nursing homes informing of the tremendous enjoyment it has brought to residents, staff and visitors. Reminiscence is hugely important within nursing home care and this special collection of films has struck a strong chord with residents. Residents have enjoyed very moving, happy and special experiences through connection with the films showcasing old Ireland culture, landscape and a different way of life. We are delighted to have partnered with the Irish Film Institute for this very special initiative and are delighted to extend it.”

Kasandra O’Connell, Head of the IFI Irish Film Archive, added: “We are thrilled that this fantastic initiative between NHI and the IFI has proven so popular that it has been extended. At the IFI we have always believed in the therapeutic power of the moving image and the reaction to Reel Memories has shown this to be true. The response of audiences underlines how important our national moving image collections are and how they have the ability to connect us with our past in a uniquely tangible way. Hearing of the joy NHI residents, staff and their families have had while viewing our collections has reminded the IFI Irish Film Archive team why our work is so important.”

Films from the IFI Irish Film Archive are available to view on, or via the newly updated IFI Player suite of apps, available via Google Play, the App Store, Amazon TV, Android TV, and Roku.

The IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.

Pictures to follow to picture desks from Declan Monaghan Photography

 For further information contact Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive at 01 4699806 / 087 9082970 or Stephen Boylan, IFI Press and Marketing Manager, at 01 6129448.

Notes for the Editor

The Reel Memories collection includes:

  • The Bord Fáilte Film Collection: Ireland in Spring (1957): Produced by Colm O’ Laoghaire (director of the Amharc Éireann newsreels for Gael-Linn) this film is a celebration of all things Irish and a delightful window on 1950s Eire.
  • The Bord Fáilte Film Collection: The Irish Riviera (1936): An early example of a State Sponsored promotional film was made in 1936 and showcases the sunny south coast of Ireland and everything it has to offer to a first-time visitor to Ireland.
  • The Bord Fáilte Film Collection: Irish Gossamer (1958): This innovative film made by Colm O Laoghaire corresponds the beauty of Irish-made fabrics with the breadth of colour and texture displayed in the Irish countryside.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs: Yeats Country (1965): This lyrical film was commissioned by the Department of External Affairs to commemorate the centenary of the birth of W.B. Yeats in 1865.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs: Errigal (1970): This visually poetic documentary was shot against the scenic backdrop of Mount Errigal in Donegal and blends the sounds of nature with an elegant musical score.
  • Advert: Odlums, Heaven Only Knows, 1970s: Advertisement for Odlum’s flour, featuring a nun teaching her class to always use Odlum’s flour, whether they are a novice or a superior cook.
  • Advert: Maguire and Paterson Matches: Dancing, 1970s: An advertisement for Cara and Friendly brand matches, featuring animated dancing matchsticks.
  • Bass Ale, The Dubliners, 1978: An advertisement for Bass, in which The Dubliners are seen traveling from an airport to a Dublin pub, where they sing a song and enjoy a pint of the Cork ale.


The Irish Film Institute is Ireland’s national cultural institution for film. It provides audiences throughout Ireland with access to the finest independent Irish and international cinema; it preserves and promotes Ireland’s moving image heritage through the IFI Irish Film Archive; and it provides opportunities for audiences of all ages and backgrounds to learn and critically engage with film.


The IFI is custodian of Ireland’s unique moving image heritage. As the home of the national collection of moving image, the IFI Irish Film Archive is at the centre of this activity, comprising a collection of over 30,000 cans of film and 10,000 broadcast tapes documenting Ireland’s past and present from 1897 to the present day, chronicling the social, political and cultural development of modern Ireland. The mission of the IFI Irish Film Archive is to acquire, preserve and provide access to Ireland’s moving image collections and associated materials for the benefit of current and future generations.


Nursing Homes Ireland is the representative organisation for private and voluntary nursing homes. Private and voluntary nursing homes are homes-from-home for about 24,000 people. Circa 30,000 staff are employed by private and voluntary nursing homes to provide 24/7 specialist clinical, health and social care to people with high dependency care needs.


The IFI is supported
by The Arts Council

Arts Council of Ireland