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The Secret Of Roan Inish review

We review The Secret Of Roan Inish - a lovely Irish family drama made by indie American director John Sayles

The Secret of Roan Inish poster

The Secret Of Roan Inish

Certificate: PG

Starring: Jeni Courtney, Susan Lynch

Release date: 1994

4 out of 5


A lovely Irish family drama, this was in fact made by independent American director John Sayles (Lone Star). Based on Rosalie Fry’s novel The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry, it’s the story of ten-year-old Fiona (Courtney), who is sent to live with her grandparents following the death of her mother. They live on the Irish coast near Roan Inish, an island her family has been linked with for generations, and Fiona soon hears the magical stories of selkies (seals that can become human) and of her own little brother Jamie, who was swept out to sea in his cradle.

Beautifully filmed, this is perhaps too slow for very young viewers but is a must-see for older (eight and over) children and adults looking for an intelligent, adorable little film that’s just as much about family and tradition as it is about fairy-tale sea creatures.

Is The Secret Of Roan Inish suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

None, but young children will be upset by the idea of Fiona’s brother being washed out to sea.

If you like this, why not try: Loch Ness, A Simple Wish, A Little Princess, Into The West, Fairytale: A True Story,