Whilst the imaginative act of home-making is intensely personalised in the relationships we construct to our own spaces of habitation, the symbolic potency of the home-place within Irish cultural and political discourse suggests that the understanding of what it means to be at home is always also a shared one. As an examination of Irish cultural discourses over the past decades reveals, that understanding necessarily shifts over time in response to wider social, economic and cultural changes. This essay traces how such shifts have found expression within Irish cinema, how cinema as a medium has articulated a changing relationship to the ‘symbolic fiction’ that is home. In particular, it tracks a movement within Irish films from the traditional association of home with a specific, bounded place, to the image of an Ireland which conceives of itself inhabiting a fluctuating global space. It suggests that both these images of belonging express a tension between what might be termed local and global perspectives on space; indeed that the purpose of home as an imaginative construct is to negotiate between those two seemingly divergent understandings of the physical and social spaces in which we live our everyday lives. Furthermore, in the troubled home-places of recent Irish cinema, it discerns a collapse of home’s comforting fictions as Irish society experiences a visceral encounter with the economic forces which determine our ability to imagine a space in which we belong.