Up until the mid-nineties the dominant portrayal of masculinity in Irish cinema was in relation to the family, with a particular theme of inept fathers evident (Into the West (1992), The Butcher Boy (1997), Horse (1993)). The films produced in this time tended to be very critical of Irish masculinity, portraying men as repressed and emotionally detached. Masculinity was aligned with traditional values and institutions such as rural life, agriculture, Catholicism, marriage and hard physical labour. As Ireland moved out of the eighties and into the prosperous nineties under the influence of the Celtic Tiger (Fahey, Hayes and Sinnott 2005), the definition of desirable masculinity in Irish society underwent a metamorphosis. The Church no longer held the country in its sway the way it once did and as globalisation took its toll, marriage, family and community became less important. Prosperity increased and Ireland sought out a more urban identity that would fit with the new, vibrant economy that was emerging.
Traditional hegemonic masculinity was rural, dominated by the Church and privileged marriage, sexual purity and the celibate life. It has been replaced by a metropolitan business masculinity influenced socially and economically by global culture. (Pease and Pringle 2001 p130)