James Ignatius Rooney (John Gregson) is a dustman for the Dublin City Corporation. The pride of the Dublin dustcarts is an amiable bachelor and also the star of the local hurley team (a kind of lethal hockey game) with the body of a lion and the temper of a lamb – but he’s kept on the run by amorous middle-aged spinster landladies.
When his landladies start bringing him tea in bed, he knows it’s time to move on – again. He has had to move lodgings five times in eleven months, packing off with his faithful dog, Rags, and his late father’s furniture in a dustcart manned by his fellow workers – a motley group of scavengers headed by his advice-giving friend, Tim Hennessy (Noel Purcell).
Hurley is Rooney’s main passion in life until he moves in with the O’Flynn family – and then all sorts of complications set in. Here, he meets bedridden, whisky-soaked Grandfather O’Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald), who becomes a dominant figure in his life and turns out to be a mighty clever cupid.
Also in the O’Flynn household are the tyrannical Mrs O’Flynn (Marie Kean) and three daughters – one married, one about to be married, and one unmarried. There is also an orphaned cousin, the Cinderella-like Maire Hogan (Muriel Pavlow), scorned by the other women but devoted to Grandpa.
Maire eventually succeeds in getting a proposal from the timid Lothario.
Filmed on location in Dublin and at Pinewood Studios, Rooney was adapted by Patrick Kirwan from the novel of the same name by Catherine Cookson.
James Ignatius Rooney
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