Draíocht, draoidheacht. This Irish term, whose literal translation is (1) druidic art, druidism, (2) witchcraft, magic; charm, enchantment, is a ‘power’ or ‘talent’ attributed to the Tuatha Dé Danann in their ability to overcome the Fir Bolg, who preceded them in Ireland. Cf. Ir. draoitheach, ‘magician, wizard’; see also “druid”.

From James MacKillop. “draíocht.” A Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (March 31, 2012).

So, we take the meaning to be “magic” or “enchantment.”

Gabriel Byrne wrote it. And starred in it. Áine O Connor directed it. It is one of the few modern films that uses the Irish (Gaeilge) language. There are no subtitles. It is amazing.

From what I’ve been able to discover, Draíocht was first broadcast on Irish Television in 1996. And then it disappeared. Thanks to a Gabriel Byrne fan, now we have the film again. Enjoy!

A brief series of screencaps is in the Gallery.


  1. I love to hear Gabriel speak Gaelic even if I do not understand a word of it. In my ears it sounds very emotionally, and sometimes so soft.
    His expression when he plays accordion is very sensitive and fascinating.

  2. Nora, isn’t it wonderful? I love to hear it, too. Det. Logan has seen the entire film and she reports that, even without subtitles, it is a fine experience. I was enthralled with this video snippet. So different from his other work. He seemed like himself somehow–or at least at ease, comfortable in his skin, so to speak. Playing the accordion (such a surprise!) shows us another side of him altogether. Great stuff!

  3. He has talent :)

  4. Corazón de Irlanda

    Also appears in “Ár nDraíocht Féin” (An Re-oakt Fine), which translates to “Our Own Magic”, or known colloquially as “A Druid Fellowship”. An interesting choice on nuestro corazón’s part, eh?

    I’m nine years late, but “Gaelic” without any additional identifiers generally refers to Scots Gaelic, and what’s taught in Gaelscoil is “Irish”. (There’s also Manx Gaelic, but that’s a different story entirely!)

  5. Michelle Lekas

    It’s funny
    It’s called Gaelic IN Irish and Irish in English.
    In the US,, as you know, everyone just calls the language Gaelic.

  6. I live in Robertstown where this was filmed, for the past 22 years. Gabriel Byrne is one of my favourite actors…and one of the most beautiful creatures I’ve ever set eyes on . I never knew a thing about this film until today!! Thank you! Off down a rabbit hole I go…

    • Sandra, I’m glad you found this film here! I have always wanted English subtitles for it, of course, because Gaelic is not a language I know. But I still watch it, because it just so lovely. Have fun down the rabbit hole! <3

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