An Tóstal was a series of festivals inaugurated in 1953 and running until 1958 celebrating Irish life. The festival aimed to promote Irish culture and attract tourists to Ireland during this period. There were parades, sporting events and arts festivals organised as a means of attracting foreigners to Irish shores.
The modern day version of An Tóstal is 'The Gathering Ireland 2013' which has a similar set of objectives.
This film shot by Norman Hodgson shows the opening of An Tóstal with Dublin city centre decorated for the occasion and a parade on O'Connell Street.
The film shown here was shot by Norman Hodgson (1905-1974). Born in Lenzie in Scotland, Norman married Marjorie Towers in 1932 and came to live in Skerries, Co. Dublin in the late 1930s. He was an avid amateur film-maker who recorded many sporting and social highlights of Irish life in the late 1940s and 1950s. Norman's films were deposited with the RTÉ Archives by his family and are known as the Hodgson Collection.
Listen to RTÉ radio commentary from Padraigh O'Raghallaigh and P.P. O'Reilly at the opening event on O'Connell Street, Dublin.