Role in the film
Katie has lived alone with her father, Darby since her mother died. She enjoys caring for her elderly father, but still finds time to enjoy herself at dances in town at night. She is tough and no-nonsense with her father and brave enough to stand up to the bullying Pony Sugrue, but she understands her father's unique relationship with the Leprechauns. As Darby puts it, 'she has a tongue would clip a hedge.'
When Michael MacBride comes to replace her father as caretaker on Lord Fitzpatrick's order, Katie runs into town to fetch her father at the pub and Darby leads her to believe he is merely hired help. Michael and Katie soon warm to each other, and Darby and King Brian decide to encourage their love. King Brian visits Katie and Michael in their dreams. Though Katie insists she has no interest in a husband, Brian convinces her to go with Michael on a visit to the ruins of Knocknasheega outside of town the next day. When Pony arrives and tries to pick a fight with Michael, Katie intervenes and orders Pony off. Nevertheless, she and Michael share their first kiss.
When Pony's mother, Sheelah Sugrue tells her the truth about Michael, she is furious with him, believing he lied to her and came to take her father's job away. When Michael tries to ask her to marry him, she refuses to listen and leaves to fetch her father at the pub. At night, when Michael stops her from finding her father's horse, Cleopatra, she slaps him; telling him she does not love him. However, she has a dangerous fall and is later found by her father in a coma with a fever when trying to catch Cleopatra at Knocknasheega.
By that night, she is in danger of dying as the Death Coach, summoned by the Banshee, comes to claim her soul. Fortunately, she is saved by the intervention of her father and King Brian. On recovering, she and Michael make up and admit their love for one another.The film ends with Darby driving his cart, Michael and Katie together in the back, singing "Pretty Irish Girl" reprise and sharing a kiss as they ride off.
- The duet "Pretty Irish Girl", apparently sung by Sean Connery and Janet Munro, has been alleged to feature dubbed vocals by Irish singers, Brendan O'Dowda and Ruby Murray.
- The lines of poetry quoted by Katie and Michael which include "The hills of old Ireland, how wondrously they stand" are from the poem "The Pillar Towers of Ireland" by Denis Florence MacCarthy (1817-1882).