The grass isn't always greener, as an Irish immigrant finds out when he moves to Montreal. Facing hardship at home in Ireland, jobless Ginger Coffey (Robert Shaw) decides to up sticks and take wife Vera (Mary Ure) and daughter Paulie (Libby McClintock) to settle in Montreal in search of his dream. But after six months, and with prospects looking no better, Vera and Paulie decide they've had enough and badger Ginger to return to the old country. When a job on a local newspaper does finally materialise, it still doesn't bring in enough money to prevent his wife and child from moving out. Things go from bad to worse for Ginger when he loses his job at the paper, and, finally unable to face an uncertain future, hits the bottle with a vengeance.