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Silent Grace 15 rating

Armagh, 1980. Two prisoners – Aine, a young, mouthy tearaway, and Eileen, a high-ranking Republican leader – are flung into a cell together in Maeve Murphy’s debut feature about the women’s IRA hunger-strike.

Drama 2004 82 mins

Director: Maeve Murphy



Several years before Steve McQueen cast a then-unknown Michael Fassbender to play Bobby Sands in Hunger, Maeve Murphy dramatized the largely unreported story of women’s involvement in dirty protests and hunger strikes during the Troubles. When Aine (Cathleen Bradley), a young, mouthy tearaway is flung into a prison cell with Eileen (Orla Brady), a Republican leader and political prisoner in the midst of a dirty protest, she is disgusted and unsympathetic. However, as long days spent in their tiny, shared cell turn into weeks, an unlikely friendship emerges and they form an unbreakable life-and-death bond when Eileen’s hunger strike threatens to destroy her.

Adapted from her award-winning play, With Trouble and Strife, Maeve Murphy’s debut feature shines a light on these female Republican prisoners and their fight not only for their political beliefs, but also for equality within the patriarchy. In 2020, The Irish Times included it in their list of Best 50 Irish Films ever made.