Some Mother's Son (1996) Script

I know full well the responsibilities that await me as I enter the door of Number 10, and I'll strive unceasingly to try to fulfil the trust and confidence that the British people have placed in me and the things in which I believe, and I would just like to remember some words of Saint Francis of Assisi, which I think are really just particularly apt at the moment.

"Where there is discord, may we bring harmony.

"Where there is error, may we bring truth.

"Where there is doubt, may we bring faith.

"And where there is despair, may we bring hope."

MAN: What are those bastards doing at the bridge?

SOLDIER: Clear the road!


The prime minister wants an entirely new approach to the Northern Ireland problem.

We've drawn up a three-pronged strategy.

Isolation, criminalisation, demoralisation.

We've cut off these routes across the border.

We've taken control of these roads.

We isolate the communities.


These people are criminals.

They are not soldiers.

They are not guerrillas.

There is no war.

There is only crime.


I wanna see these people in jail.

Tim, what's the situation in the prisons at the moment?

In our experience, getting involved in a struggle with the IRA prisoners in particular, merely tends to serve the terrorists as a rallying issue.

Thank you, Tim, but I think we need to change tack slightly.

We want to make the prisons an asset, not a liability, for it is in the prisons that we will break the back of the IRA.


Frankie's called an emergency meeting.

I have to go.

Jesus, come on! We can't let them away with this.

-We've no clearance from Dublin! -l don't give a shit!

We have to retaliate!

Can anybody get a clean car?


LIAM: What's for breakfast, Ma?

Liam Quigley, look at you.

You'll never get a girl looking like that, will you? It's eggs. Sit down.

-l want a soft one this time. -KATHLEEN: All right.

Those bastards.

They're blowing all the bridges up.

Don't use that language in here, please.

But why?

Why? To control us.

Us? What do you mean, us?

This egg is hard.

Very funny.

(CHUCKLES) Here you are.

Here's the real one.

ALICE: Where's my lunch?

Who ate my lunch?

I took an apple.


Why don't you get a job?

-GERARD: It was just an apple. -(CHUCKLES)

(WHISPERS) She's on a diet.

(MOUTHING) Really?


Have some tea. You must be freezing.

Can I borrow your car?

Car? Why?

I have to get shoes.

OK. Will you drive me to school?

Sure, I will.

-Good. There you go. -Thanks.

How's your egg? God, look at the time. Come on. Come on. Eat it up quick.

Come on, Gerard.



Hup, hup.

Hold it! Hold it! You're frightening the animals. Hold it!

(REPEATING) Hup, hup, hup!

What the hell is this?

How are we supposed to get to our cattle?

This is to stop your son murdering people and running back across the border down there.

My son would never run from you, McPeake.

Why don't you go home, Annie, before you get yourself in trouble?

Come on, Ma. Ignore them.

Tell your Frankie we'll get him, no matter what he does.

Tell him yourself.

All right, boys, bring it down. Stand back there.

ANNIE: Hup, hup.

Go on. Bastards.


I don't believe this.

And I've got concert practice this morning.


KATHLEEN: Will you pick us up at 4:00?


KATHLEEN: Don't spend too much money, OK?

Run, Liam.

-(WHISPERS) Sorry I'm late, Brenda. -No problem.

-How's it going? All right? Good. -It's going pretty good.

God, the roadblocks this morning. I couldn't believe it.

OK, I've got the order here.


Come on.

Let's go.







KATHLEEN: Be calm. Be calm, everybody. Be calm.





SOLDIER: Get off the road!

Get off the fucking road!

Oh, my God.

Get off the road. Move or I'll have you arrested.

-Oh... -Madam, I don't have time for this.

He cursed at me. You try. I'm not moving for them.

-Get off of me. Get off. -Come on.

-Leave me alone! -MOTHER SUPERIOR: Come on!

-And get those girls in here. -THERESA: Get away from me!

KATHLEEN: Come on, girls. Come on. Quickly, girls. Quickly.



You're home early.

There was a bomb. They had to close the school.

-Did you not hear it? -l was in Castle Ward.


Did you get any shoes?

There weren't any I liked.

(CHUCKLES) Do you mean to say I had to walk home for nothing?

Oh, God. Make me a cup of tea, will you?

Who did this?

We believe this man did it. Frank Higgins.

Get him.



Ah, hello, Sister Bernardina.

Did you strike my daughter yesterday?

I beg your pardon.

ANNIE: You did, and you humiliated her in front of a bunch of brats.

Please, Mrs Higgins, um--

You're a troublemaker, Annie Higgins, and I want you out of my school.

By Jesus, you'll not do that to one of mine.

Get out of my school, or I'll call the police.

(CHUCKLES) Do you think I'm afraid of the police?

You touch my child again, and that outfit won't save you.

Get up to your classes.



-Is everything all right? -He's fine.

He wants to see youse tonight, OK?

-So, we'll be coming over the back way. -Good. I'll keep the dogs in so.

OK. Happy Christmas.

I'll see youse later.

SOLDIER: (ON RADIO) Did you see that?

Yeah, I see him.

I got the number.

MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, coming up soon, we've got the Christmas draw, but in the meantime--

How you doing, Gerard?

Take your partners for a slow waltz.


Appreciate it.

-That's from your granny, OK? -LIAM: Thanks, Granny.

-Here you go. -Thanks, Gerard.

Gerard, get up and take your ma out for a dance.

She's sitting there on her own.

I can't dance.

Come on. I'm dying to dance with the best-looking man in the room.

Well, you'll just have to make do with me, then, won't you?


That'll do for me.


(GASPS) God, I always forget how tall you are. (CHUCKLES)

Gerard, sometimes you remind me so much of your father.


No. He was, he was taller, but his hair was shorter.

(LAUGHS) That's true.

Oh, listen to me.

I just don't understand why you won't go back to university.

Oh, don't start lecturing on at me again about university.

I, I don't mean to lecture you, Gerard.

I just want to know why you won't go back.

I need to take a year off.

“Why? Ow! -To learn how to dance.


I just don't want you to throw your life away.




MAN: (ON PA) Right, kids. Look who's here.

SANTA: Ho, ho, ho!




MAN: (ON PA) Come on up and get your presents.

I have to go.

I have someone I have to give a present to.


You don't know her.



Can I have some more money? I've spent all mine.

You've spent it? Well, come on. Let's see what Santa's got for you.


For God's sake, sit down, Ma.

They'll be here.

(SIGHS) Aye.


SOLDIER: (ON RADIO) Contact. Back-up, stand by.

Alpha team, stand by.


There they are.


-How you doing? -THERESA: How are you?

Not bad.

-How are you? You all right? -THERESA: (INHALES) Yeah.

Theresa, put that dog out.

All right, Ma.


-Come on, Shep. -What about you, Ma?


All right, Da?

Still running about?

JIMMY: (LAUGHS) You're funny, you are.

-Hey, Ma. -Happy Christmas, son.

-You all right? -Oh, yeah.

-Can you stay long? -Not too long.

-Time for a bit of dinner? -Aye.


Happy Christmas.

Oh, you shouldn't have bothered.

All right?


Will you have a bite to eat, son?

Yeah, OK.

Good. Sit down there, now.

FRANK: All right, Da. You want a hand?

No, no. It's all right. Now, leave me alone.

FRANK: We'll wait for you.

JIMMY: Thank you. Thank you.

You know, it'll be new year before you sit down there, won't it?

JIMMY: All right. (LAUGHS)

-That's grand. -FRANK: How's it going?


-Do you like it? -ANNIE: I do.

Here, have a cigar.

Cigars. Thanks very much.

Got you a present. (CHUCKLES)

(LAUGHS) Jeez. It's Christ-- It's Christmas.


Everything's ready now.

Jesus Christ. Every year we have to sit beside a bloody empty chair?

-(WHISPERS) I know, I know. -He's dead. He's not coming back.

I, I know. Shh.

THERESA: God, Ma, that looks lovely.

-Pass the gravy to your daddy, Theresa. -(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

FRANK: Are you still in a bad mood? Are you still in a bad mood?

-Here, take those. Take those cigars. -(LAUGHS)





Jesus, Frankie.

-Go! -THERESA: Ma, what's wrong, Ma?

Oh, Jesus, Ma!


ANNIE: (SHOUTS) Help! Help!

-SOLDIER: Security forces! -(JIMMY SHOUTING)



-No! -SOLDIER: Go, get after them!



GERARD: Frankie, we'll take care of that.


SOLIDER: (YELLS) Sit down and don't move! All right!

FRANK: (GRUNTS) Get in here. Get in here!

GERARD: Ah, come on, Frank!




SOLDIER: Move it! Move it!



SOLDIER: (YELLS) You! Put your fucking hands up!

We found them, sir!


Well, hello, Frankie.

And who have we here?

Take him.

SOLDIER: (IN DISTANCE) We've got them!

-Oh, Jesus! -THERESA: Let me go! Let me go!

THERESA: Frankie! Let me go! Frankie! Let me go!


(SCREAMS) Frankie! Frankie!

Frankie! Let me go!





I tell you, anyone who took Granny out to dance ever again...


Pass me the Sellotape, would you?

KATHLEEN: Oh, my God.

What's going on? -ROSIE: Hey, hold on!

-SOLDIER: You check out the back. What's going on here?

-(SOLDIERS CLAMOURING) -Who else is in the house?

Just my, uh-- Just my daughter and my son.

Where's your husband?

-(CLATTERING) -He's dead.

-LIAM: You leave me alone! -Liam.

-LIAM: Let go of me! -SOLDIER: Watch that glass.

It's all right. Excuse me. What are you doing in here?

MCPEAKE: Where's Gerard?

He's with his girlfriend.

-Don't tell me lies. -I'm not lying to you.

She's not lying to you.

We have him. He's under arrest.

He's been charged with attempted murder.

-Oh, God, look at you. -No touching.

You got the clothes all right, then?


Gerard, a man was shot.

But he was a soldier.

He was somebody's son like you're mine.

He was waiting to kill us.

And he got shot.


You lied to me.

I had to.

I had to lie because I wanted to protect you.

-Protect me? -I didn't think you could handle it.

You spent years like running away from all this stuff, OK?

I'm your mother. Don't you talk to me about protecting me.

I'm sorry.

Sorry is not enough, Gerard.

Listen. Listen.

I've got a lawyer downstairs, and he says that he can get your charge reduced to conspiracy.

GERARD: I have to tell you something.

I'm probably going to get locked up for a long time.

And I don't need a lawyer, because I'm a prisoner of war.

I am not a criminal.

I don't recognise the court.

Are you out of your mind?

No, I'm not out of my mind.

-Time's up. -No, I have, I haven't finished yet. I--

I'll be all right. I'll be all right.

I'll be all right!

(STAMMERS) Look, I, I, I have to see him again.

Gerard, I'll be back.


WOMAN: Your bag, please.

Fine, move along.

Your son refuses to see me, Mrs Quigley.

I don't care. He has to have representation.

Well, I'll try.

Mrs Quigley. I'm Danny Boyle, head of Sinn Féin in Belfast.

Yes, I know who you are.

What are you doing here?

I'm here to support your son.

My son does not need your support, Mr Boyle.


All right, Ma.

-All right. -(WOMEN LAUGHING)

BAILIFF: Order! Order!

BAILIFF: All rise.

Do the defendants have representation?

I'm here to represent Gerard Quigley, Your Honour.

No, you're not.


JUDGE: The defendant refuses counsel.

That is his prerogative.

We are Irish Republican Army prisoners of war.

We refuse to participate in this non-jury farce.

This British court has no jurisdiction in Ireland.

We will not be treated as criminals.

This is a criminal court of law, sir, empowered by the Queen to try you.

I instruct the clerk to enter a plea of not guilty on your behalf.

Let us proceed.

BAILIFF: Exhibit A, Your Honour.

Your Honour, this is a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle.

It's one of two captured at the arrest site.

Forensic have established that the fingerprints of both of the defendants are on these weapons, and that this weapon was fired by the defendant Gerard Quigley.


BAILIFF: Exhibit C, Your Honour.

Your Honour, we also captured this grenade which consists of two ounces of Semtex and a percussion cap that is of a type manufactured and used by the IRA.

Under the present emergency legislation, it falls to me to act on behalf of a jury.

-Therefore, I find both defendants-- “WOMAN: You've no right!

-These men are political prisoners! -JUDGE: Guilty.

-They're not criminals! -JUDGE: Remove that woman!

Take your fucking hands off her!


Stop! Gerard!


Frank Higgins, you are a criminal menace to this society.

I sentence you to life imprisonment without parole.


Gerard Quigley, you have aided Higgins in his wanton acts of terror.

-l sentence you to 12 years. -(GERARD YELLING INDISTINCTLY)


JUDGE: Clear the courtroom! Clear the court!

I'll walk. I'll walk!



GUARD: Clear!

Get dressed.

Murphy, you're back again.

What's your problem?

I'm a prisoner of war.

I refuse to wear a criminal's uniform.

You refuse?

What about you?

Do you refuse?

I refuse.


I have a special place for youse.


Can I see your pass, please?

We're here to see Gerard Quigley.

Hold on, please.

-Lady here to see Gerard Quigley. -MAN: (ON RADIO) On the protest.

Thank you.

I'm afraid you can't see him today.

Could you back the car up, please?

He's just been sentenced, I haven't seen him yet.


He's involved in a protest.

There's really nothing I can do.

Could you back the car up, please?

-(HONKING CONTINUES) -You're blocking the traffic.


GUARD: Two on.

OFFICER: Two on.

PRISONER 1: Yeah! PRISONER 2: My friend!


PRISONER 3: Good day, Frankie.

-Who are you? McLaughlin? -Yes, sir.

OFFICER: Slop out.

Frankie, you boy-o.

Good to see ya!

Good luck, Gerard.

All right, Sands, here's some company.

GERARD: Bobby?

Do I look that bad?

You look like Jesus Christ. (LAUGHS)


Here's your uniform, Quigley.

Here's your uniform.



What are you doing here?

I resigned.


I can't work there any more.


Nobody trusts me. (SIGHS)

-Did, did someone say something? -Oh, no.

-l just know. -Oh, for God's sake, Alice.

It's a bloody bank, Mum.

And the IRA have robbed it four times. Why should they trust me?

-Gerard didn't rob it. -(LAUGHS) How do you know?

Where will you work?

I can't stay here any more.

I hate this country.

Come on, Alice. We're going to be late.

Will you calm down, Mum? The plane doesn't leave till 11:00.


-Is that too heavy for you? -LIAM: No.


What are you gonna do about him?

Whatever I can.

Oh, come on.

Thank you, Mr Wilson.

-Hello, Sam. -Hello, Tim.

You wanted to see me about something?

This protest has been going on for two years, hasn't it?


How many are on it at the moment?

Approximately 300, although the figure does vary.

I want these men in prison uniform.

Well, we pretty much tried everything.

No, you haven't.


BOBBY: Come on, get up! GERARD: Oh, fuck!

(YELLS) Exercise, lads! More dips!

Come on, get up.



Takes this prisoner of war stuff very serious.


It's freezing.

Well, what's the fucking point?

-We're not going anywhere-- -To keep our discipline.

Come on, stop talking and do the dips.



You tired?

Mary would keep you up, wouldn't she?

(GRUNTING) Oh, Mary! Oh, go on, Mary!

-(CHUCKLES) All right! -(GRUNTS) Sure!

18, 19, 20.

All right, lads, 20 press-ups.

-Come on, on the floor. -(SIGHS)

Oh, shit.

Start with Sands.



Slop out.

No slop out without uniform.

What's going on?

No slop out without uniform.

This won't fucking break us.




-(POUNDING ON DOOR) -(YELLING) Break the window!

Break the window!

Hit! Go, go, go!

Take the beds out.

ANNIE: Hello?

Uh, it's Annie Higgins.

Frankie's mother.

Oh. Hello, Mrs Higgins.

Your son wants you to go up for a visit.

Well, um, is he coming off the protest?

ANNIE: All I know is you have to go up on Friday.

And, listen, could you ever give us a lift up there?

What's going on, Mrs Higgins? -I don't know.

I don't know, I have to go. Goodbye, now. I'll see you Friday.


No, I've given them up. Thank you.

I'd give them up myself if only for this bloody country.

You could be dead on the minute.

-OFFICER: Quigley. -Oh, yes.

OFFICER: Higgins.


Into 12.


Oh, dear.

OFFICER: Sit down.


Makes you look older.

How's it going there, Mrs Quigley?

Gerard, are you coming off the protest?

No, I'm not.

Well, then, what's going on?

We had to get word out about what's happened.

They won't let us out to the toilets.

What'd you do? -Well...

At the start, we put it out the windows.

Then they blocked up the windows, so we put it under the door.

Then they blocked up under the door, so now we spread it on the walls.

You spread your dirt on the walls?

-Well, what else can we do? -God.

How can you live like this?

Look, I have to get a message out to Danny Boyle.

This is really important, Ma.

Let's go.

I love you.

OFFICER: Pass, please?

Raise your arms.

-Do you have any contraband? -No.



You all right?

Get in.

(SHUDDERING) How dare you!


You knew I was carrying this, didn't you?

I just wanted to see my son.

So what's in this message?

I don't know.

I will not be used as some stooge for violence.

All I know is that Bobby Sands needed to get a message out.


Well, I'm going to read this bloody message.

Give me that.

Give me that.

That's IRA business.

Give it to me, Mrs Quigley.



"My friend, the Brits have finally forced us to live in our own dirt.

"The lads' morale is collapsing.

"If you cannot find a solution, "then we must push this crisis to its conclusion

"by going on hunger strike."

"I'm not threatening you, but stating the cold reality.

"Your friend and comrade, Bobby Sands."


Come on.

I'm not going in there.

Give me the letter.

No, you tell him to come out here.

There's three people been shot dead there.

How you doing?

My son is wiping his shit on the walls because of you.

Hang on a minute.

It's the British have your son in jail, Mrs Quigley, not me.

Have you something for me?


You read this.

They're talking about a hunger strike, Danny.

What are you going to do?

You have to do something.

What are you gonna do?

We've got to win this in the streets.

Oh, I see, disrupt and destroy, that's all you people can do, isn't it?

(WHISPERS) Hold on there, Kathleen, hold on.

Are you coming, Annie?

Oh, I see.

Disagree with those people, and you're the enemy.

That's it, isn't it?

KATHLEEN: (SIGHING) God, I need a drink.

Look at my hands.

Shaking like a leaf.

Would you not try a wee Valium? For your nerves.


Huh. Suit yourself.

Are you coming?

BARTENDER: 1.60, please.

KATHLEEN: Thanks very much.


Move over, I'm not sitting there.

Why? Why not?

I'm not sitting below her.


She'd sour the drink.


Tiocfaidh ar la.

And what does that mean?

(WHISPERS) "Our day will come."

And what day is that, Annie?

The day the Brits go home.

(WHISPERS) The day the bloody Brits go home is all you people can think about, isn't it?

Well, my life won't change either way.

Well, now, your life and my life are two very different things, missus.

My son was shot dead by the British, so you can take your brandy and shove it up your hole.


Is everything all right, ladies?

Yes, yes, we're fine. Just two more brandies, please.

BARTENDER: I'll bring them over.


Oh, I'm so sorry, Annie.

Didn't know that.

Oh, God, that must be a terrible thing, to lose a child.

BARTENDER: There you are now.

-You OK? -Yes, thank you.


OFFICER: All right, lads. Mass.


Time for mass, lads.

Fuck me, it's Robinson Crusoe.

Sorry, Father.

Frankie, would you like to say our mass?

All right.

Your Eminence, this is Bobby Sands. Bobby.


I'm really glad you could come, Your Eminence.

It's the least I could do.


This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Happy are those who are called to his supper.

PRISONERS: Lord, I am not worthy to receive thee, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.

Body of Christ.

-Body of Christ. -Amen.

-Body of Christ. -Body of Christ.


-Body of Christ. -Body of Christ.


MALE REPORTER: CBS News, Cardinal.

Cardinal? Did Bobby Sands have anything to say?

When I was a young priest, I worked for a time with the poor in the sewers of Calcutta.

-Who let him in? -I did.



He's the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland.

Forced to spread their faeces on the walls, to pour their urine under the cell doors.

Now, one would not allow an animal to live in such condition, let alone 340 human beings.

I am an MP in the British Parliament, and you haven't heard the last of this, I promise.

-Well, the shit has hit the fan, lads. -(CHUCKLES)

Gentlemen, I'm glad you find this situation so amusing.

We need to win the moral high ground on this one.

I know compromise is a dirty word in this room, but if we don't come up with some fresh ideas and soon, we're really going to fuck it up.

What a wanker. Why do we have to put up with him?

He's got support.

And he may also have a point.


I, uh, brought you a few fresh eggs and a bit of bread.

For driving me up there.

-Oh, you shouldn't have. -No, I wanted to.

Well, thank you very much.

Well, the publicity's great, isn't it?

Do you think anything will come of it?

They can't ignore the Pope, a cardinal and an MP, now, can they?

Oh, aye.

Oh, Mrs Higgins, will you have a cup of tea?

Ah, no, thank you. No.

(CHUCKLES) Jimmy's on his own. I better be getting back.

Thank you, Mrs Higgins.

ANNIE: You're welcome.


Jesus, I thought I was shot.


Oh, God.

You know, I nearly had a heart attack myself.

Would you ever give us a lift?

Yes! Yes, come on.

We'll put it in the back.


ANNIE: (LAUGHS) I'm so sorry.

ANNIE: It must be a great thing, to be able to drive.

KATHLEEN: Right. ANNIE: What are we doing here?

You have a go.


Come on. Have a try.

Get in.

OK, now, you just put it into gear and move forward slowly.


-KATHLEEN: Jesus! -Oh, God!

-ANNIE: My foot is down. -Put it down!

KATHLEEN: No, no, not that foot, the other foot.

ANNIE: What do you mean, the other foot?

KATHLEEN: No, that's the brake. The other foot.

Turn the wheel. Turn the wheel!

-ANNIE: Which way? -Just turn it!

-ANNIE: Which way? -Any way! Just turn it!


There's a guy at the Foreign Office offering us some kind of deal.

I don't believe you.

(SIGHS) I'm serious.


That is fucking great.

Take it easy. Take it easy. Let's not get too excited.



Geez, where'd you get that?

He gave it to me.

Kind of a peace pipe, I guess.

Fuckin' length of it.

So, what kind of deal is it?

Civilian clothes, education instead of prison work, win back lost time.

Pretty much everything we asked for.

And who is this guy?

He's a diplomat.

A diplomat.

BOBBY: We'll get five or six smokes out of this.


(SIGHS) Come on.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Oh, God, the tide.


Oh, there's someone.

Hey! Hey!


SOLDIER: Come on, lads.

Step back, ladies.

Right, lift.



Oh, thank God. (CHUCKLES)

Lucky we were here, ladies.

KATHLEEN: Yes, thank you. Thank you so much.


-KATHLEEN: Well done. -Not bad. (CHUCKLES)

There. Makes you feel free, doesn't it?

-Aye, until you get stuck. -(BOTH CHUCKLING)

I suppose, it's just as well they came along.


I don't hate them all, you know.

Mommy! Mommy!

There's been a deal.

You're joking.

They're getting their own clothes.


KATHLEEN: Oh, thank God!


KATHLEEN: Oh, thank God!

Oh, thank God!

(SOBBING) Oh, thank God.

I'm going to have a drink now!

God knows we need it. Jimmy!


No, no, no, no, no...




I'm tired.

Oh, balls, you.

Sorry, Theresa.



(YELLS) Let's go!




No, I can't take those.

Excuse me. Just what do you mean, no?

We were assured that they would be allowed to wear their own clothes.

No, not their own clothes. Uh, civilian clothes.

I don't understand, our MP, Frank Maguire, assured us that these are the new rules.

They're allowed their own clothes.


What's this?

These are your new clothes.

MARGARET THATCHER: (ON TV) The question of whether all prisoners in Northern Ireland should be allowed to wear civilian clothes issued by the prison officials rather than prison uniform.

We decided on that, that it should apply to all prisoners.

And, therefore, we gave that concession to all prisoners.

No, no, no. We didn't say their own clothes.

-We said civilian-style clothes. -Now, you listen to me.

I'm a diplomat in Her Majesty's government.

I do not break agreements.

-Well, this is war, not diplomacy. -Really?

I distinctly remember you saying to me that it wasn't war.

Look, I want you to start treating these people for what they are. A bunch of terrorists.

You do what it takes to draw them out into the open, and then you finish them off!


Tiocfaidh ar la.


BOY: Who's Bobby Sands?

WOMAN: Shouldn't be late, now, come on.



KATHLEEN: Alice? Alice, it's me.

-Mummy! How are you doing? -I'm fine.

Listen, Alice, the prisoners are going on a hunger strike.

Has our Gerard gone on it?

No, no.

-Are you sure? -Yes. Yes, I'm sure.

OK, well...

Do you want me to come home?


Stay where you are. You're better off there.

MAN: Bobby Sands has been on hunger strike now for 15 days.

Surely, somebody can do something.

DANNY: Well, Sinn Féin are doing all they can at the moment--

(WHISPERING) Parents' meeting.

(SIGHS) Has Frank Maguire spoken yet?

-No. The usual... -OK.

The Vatican's already been informed. The Pope knows.

-Oh, the Pope knows? -Yes.

The Church is doing everything it can in this situation to help.

But the Church is doing nothing--

Sinn Féin are doing nothing but blocking roads--


Gentlemen, gentlemen, please!

You're our MP. What are you gonna do about it?

What are any of youse doing about it?

Now, look.

The government needs my vote badly in this budget debate.

Now, I think we can get what we need.

The prisoners can rely on Frank Maguire.

WOMAN: Good for you, Frank!

We only need one.

Sorry. It's the rules.


MALE NEWSREADER: We interrupt this programme for a news flash.

The death has taken place of Mr Frank Maguire, the independent nationalist MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Mr Maguire, who held the balance of power at Westminster and was a prominent supporter of the demands of the H-block hunger strikers, died of a heart attack at his home in Lisnaskea.


After about 50 days or so, their bodies begin to break down the, apparently, less vital organs.

The eyesight will begin to diminish, becoming hypersensitive to light, the muscular system would begin to pull away--

I just had a phone call from the Maze.

I think we've got a problem.

ANNIE: Listen, they're going to run Sands for Maguire's old seat in the British parliament.

That's a fantastic idea.

Will you help us?

With the campaign?

Who do you mean by "us"?

You mean Sinn Féin?


Help the hunger strikers.

Annie, I don't believe in violence. You must understand that.

No, this isn't about violence, Mrs Quigley.

This is about elections.

MALE NEWSREADER: Once again, the Prime Minister stayed unflinchingly firm.

THATCHER: (ON RADIO) There is no such thing as political murder, political bombing or political violence.

-We will not compromise on this. -(PROTESTERS CHANTING)

There will be no political status.

All attempts to intimidate us will fail.

PROTESTERS: (CHANTING) Don't let them die!

Political status now!


ANNIE: Vote for Bobby Sands now, misses.

DANNY: (ON LOUDSPEAKER) Vote for Bobby Sands.

Vote against British repression in Ireland.

Vote for Bobby Sands. Don't forget. Don't forget the polling date, now, sir.

Vote Bobby in. Vote for Bobby Sands.

There you go, missus. Vote for Bobby Sands.

Don't forget. Vote for Bobby Sands.

DANNY: A vote for Bobby Sands is a vote against British repression in Ireland.

-Vote for Bobby Sands! -Vote for Bobby Sands!

Vote for Bobby Sands. Support the hunger strikers.

There you go, missus.

Vote for Bobby Sands. Don't forget the polling.

ANNIE: (ON LOUDSPEAKER) Vote for Bobby Sands.

Support the prisoners in their fight for political status.

Vote him in to keep them alive.

Vote for Bobby Sands.

Support the prisoners in their fight for political status.

Vote for Bobby Sands!

Vote him in to keep them alive.

Support the prisoners in their fight for political status.

Vote for Bobby Sands.

Vote him in to keep them alive!


Can I see you?

You've decided to honour us with your presence.

Yes, I know, Mother Superior. I've--

I haven't been here much recently, but I'm sure you understand I've been very busy.

I confiscated these in your class.

You're suspended.



Good morning, Mrs Quigley.

Good morning, class.

All right, Mrs Wheelan, thank you. I'll take over, now.

Thank you, Mrs Wheelan.

It's nice to see you.

OK, page 95.

-GIRLS: Good morning-- -MOTHER SUPERIOR: Sit down.

Can I talk to you now?

Yes, of course, Mother Superior.

Get out of my school.

With all due respect, Mother Superior, I suggest that you call the Cardinal and tell him why you're suspending me. I have his number if you need it.

In the meantime, I have a class to teach.

Thank you very much, Mother Superior.


-OK, what page was it? -GIRLS: Page 95.


This man is ready for the hospital wing.

GERARD: Don't touch him. I'll do that.

-OK, I'm gonna lift you up, OK? -(GROANS) All right.


GERARD: Come on. You're OK.

OK, I'm just gonna get your leg, right.



I'm gonna lift you up, OK?

-One, two, three. -(BOBBY GROANING)



I won't let you down.

OK, back in the cell.


(YELLS) Stick with it, lads!

PRISONER: Keep going, Bobby!

Stick with it, lads!

Put your mark?

Oh, I did.

You know, Annie, I have a terrible confession to make.

I've never voted in my life before.

Well, we never had much use for the ballot box ourselves.

God, Annie, do you think he could win?




MALE REPORTER: The tension here is electric as we await to the results of the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election...

(ON RADIO) One of the most bitterly fought campaigns in Northern Ireland history, where, in an unprecedented move, the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher called for the electorate to reject the IRA prisoner Bobby Sands, now in his 50th day of a hunger strike.

Mrs Thatcher threw her support behind Harry West...

♪ (SINGING CONTINUES) ♪ As the polls show the gap closing between him and the hunger striker.


And now, we're going to go live, as the polling officer approaches the microphone.

West, Harold, Unionist and Conservative party of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.



Sands, Robert, anti-H-Block political prisoner.

Thirty thousand--


(ON RADIO) Thirty thousand four hundred and--


By God, he done it.

He fucking done it.


I declare Robert Sands duly elected as Member of Parliament, for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.




They've done it!

Bobby Sands, MP!






Bobby. You won.

You made your point.

Is it not time to stop now?

Will they do a deal?


I will see this through...

To the end.







KATHLEEN: God, no.


What about Liam?

What about Liam? You can't--

(SOBBING) You must-- You must not do this, Gerard!

You hear me? (SOBBING) No!


(STAMMERS) Please, I-- I have to talk to him some more.

~The visit's over. -No, I--

-Get him back. I need-- ~The visit is over.

Let me go, please, please.


KATHLEEN: Please let me stay with him.

There's nothing we can do.

-Our hands are tied. -No.

Your son has made this decision.

You don't understand.

Please, I need more time.

Please, please give me more time.

-Sorry, sorry -I, I just have to see him again.

-(SOBBING) Please. -Come on, come on.


Don't show yourself up in front of them, please.

Shh! Get a hold of yourself.

Give me the keys.

Give me the keys, please.

Give me the keys.

I have to go back.


Oh, Jesus.


MAN: Yes, we are deeply moved, Mrs Quigley, but can you explain to my colleagues why you are here, and what you hope can be achieved?


Well, we've, uh--

We've come to ask--

To beg you for our sons' lives.

For the life of Bobby Sands, a fellow MP.

We ask you to persuade the government to--

To go in there and speak to them, make some kind of compromise before it's too late, before someone has died.

But will the hunger strikers give up?

FARNSWORTH: Excuse me, madam--

These men are terrorists.

Her Majesty's government, since I appear to be the only representative, does not negotiate with terrorists.

My son is not a terrorist.

Your son is a convicted murderer.


They won't even let Bobby Sands talk to the press.

He's our MP. We have no voice.

You know, 30,000 people voted for Bobby Sands.

That's more than voted for Thatcher, so what are you afraid of?

You may or may not know that it is in fact you that will decide your son's fate.

The law clearly states that if your sons should lapse into comas, then you have the legal right to take them off the strike.

Surely, no mother would allow her son to die.

MAN: (ON RADIO) Tension is mounting in Belfast tonight with the news that H-Block hunger striker Bobby Sands is only hours away from death.

There was no sign of a last-minute settlement in the prison dispute.

Sands, who is entering his 66th day of hunger strike...

MAN: You bastards!

Leave him alone, he's our MP!

Leave him alone!


WOMAN: (ON LOUDSPEAKER) Would everyone please join us for a prayer vigil at the police station?

ANNIE: Kathleen.

WOMAN: Form at the corner.

ANNIE: Kathleen.


ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.


WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

-Blessed art thou amongst women... -(EKG FLATLINING)

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

WOMAN: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

ALL: Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners--



GIRL: He's dead!

WOMAN: He's dead!

MAN: Murdering bastards!







MAN: Run, everybody, run!






Come on.

Come on!



MAN: Present arms!


-Fire! -(GUNS FIRE)


-Fire! -(GUNS FIRE)


-Fire! -(GUNS FIRE)

MAN: (ON TV) Some 100,000 people took part in the funeral.

Abroad, a wave of anti-British protests--

HARRINGTON: This is a disaster.

Is this the official Foreign Office line, or is this merely your line, Harrington?

Thomas, do you know anything about the role of Irish martyrs in history?

1916, Pearse, Connolly?

Well, you've created another one.

MAN: To behave with compassion.

(ON LOUDSPEAKER) Don't let any more die.

Don't let any more die.

Give us your support.

Give us your support.

Don't let any more die.

Don't let any more die.

Give us your support.

Remember Bobby Sands.

Remember Bobby sands.

MAN: You Fenian bastards!




ANNIE: Here.

-(SPITTING) -Here you go. Here you go.


It's all right. It's all right. It's only piss.

WOMAN: Are you all right?


Come on, we'll get you home now. Come on. Come on.

I'll be all right. I'm fine.

You're all right. Bastards!




I had to come home.


FARNSWORTH: There are now 10 of them on the strike.

The first few are hard-core gunmen and bombers who've murdered innocent people, but further down the line, we've got young men who are only involved peripherally.

And I'm not sure about shifting the onus onto the families.

We're not negotiating, are we?

Who does Harrington report to?

He's a Foreign Office monitor at the prisons.

Be careful with him.

We have every confidence in you.



Hey, Liam.

Hello, Ma.

Jesus Christ, Gerard, can you not stop this?

-Oh, God. -Look, is there no other way?

Alice, please.

We've argued this out.

Please respect my convictions.

Youse know something?

I've never seen things as clearly before

as I can see things now.

He won't do it.

Mum, he won't go through with it.



MAN: (ON RADIO) This is the Northern Ireland news.

In a further escalation of the prison crisis, the IRA have issued the following statement.

"Our comrades are prepared to die for their rights.” Morning, lads.

"Those who try to take those rights away

"must be prepared to pay the same price."



MAN: Come on!

Come on!





Oh, no!

I'm proud of you.


For respecting my beliefs.

Oh, Gerard.

Who said I respected your beliefs?

You had a choice in what you did, but you left us with no choice.

Don't let us die.

WOMAN: Oh, Kieran!

GERARD: Kieran!


I'll see.


You can't go out there.


SOLDIER: Move, move, move.

We must all mourn the death of this young man.

But we must also mourn the death of two prison officers brutally murdered in front of their own families.

Some of you here have your hands steeped in blood.

Who paid you to say that, Daly?

I beg you now, stop this violence.

Who put you up to it?

We don't have to listen to this.

-It is our solemn duty-- -Why don't you stick to religion, Daly?

It is a solemn duty under God to save life.

-(INDISTINCT SHOUTING) -Did the Brits get at you?

We must save life wherever possible, however unpopular it is.

Please, don't let anybody else die.

Please don't let anybody else die.



This is wrong. This is wrong!

What you said in there was an absolute bloody disgrace.

What I said in there is God's law.

You're telling me to betray my son?

It's God's law, Annie! This isn't a protest any more.

These people are using these funerals to win support.

These people are our friends and our families.

DALY: Look, you have to take your sons off.

You have the right to choose. You can make a choice.

DANNY: Leave them alone. ANNIE: No, I don't.

It's not my choice to make.

Jesus Christ, do you think if it was my choice, I'd let him die?

Come on, Annie, let's go home.


Do you hear me, Kathleen?


He's losing consciousness. We should contact the next of kin.

Mrs Quigley? Tim Harrington.

Leave me alone.

Please, Mrs Quigley, 1, I think we have a solution.

Excuse me. I'm going to stay with my son.

Look, we can resolve this bloody mess.

Do you want to stop this madness? Do you?

While there's still time. Please, take me to Danny Boyle.

Am I safe here?

They'll have to shoot me as well.


You think they won't?


You've got some nerve coming here.

Mr Boyle, I have a proposal.

HARRINGTON: The prisoners can have their specific demands.

DANNY: As a right?

HARRINGTON: As a right.

Provided the hunger strike is called off first and your organisation makes no statement claiming to have won prisoner-of-war status.

May I have an ashtray?

The government will say that in light of the prisoners' sensible decision to end the hunger strike, we are re-examining the present regime.

You cheated us about the clothes.

Mr Boyle, I have never cheated anyone in my life.

Now, if the terms are acceptable, 1 will go into the prison tonight and outline the changes to the hunger strikers in the presence of a withess of your choice.

Thatcher will never agree to this deal.

Senior concerned parties within the government feel strongly that the prime minister will agree.

I'll have to consult the prisoners first.

And I must talk to my people.

Danny! My son is dying. We don't have any time.

Can't you just resolve this now?





-Do something. -I'm sorry.

-You must do something. -There's nothing I can do.

Please leave.


OFFICER: One on! Clear the wing!


PRISONER: Keep going, Frankie. Keep going, Gerard.

Hi, Tom. Must be serious if you're here.

I think we have a deal.


Kathleen, any sign of Harrington?

No. They told me he was with you.

Tom McLaughlin, the prisoners' leader.

-How are you, Mrs Quigley? -Kathleen Quigley. Gerard's mum.

-You all right? -Yes.

So he's not with you? Where is he? Do you think he's coming?

I have no idea. He must be in London.

So what do the prisoners think, Tom?

The prisoners will agree if the Brits agree.

Oh, thank God.

Can I bum one of those on you?

-Yes, yes, of course. -Thanks.

Where is he? You know Frankie doesn't have long.

Aye, I know.

All we can do is wait, Mrs Quigley.

Yes, yes, we have a deal. They'll agree.

No, no loss of face to anyone.

What's going on?

How dare you barge in here?

Your career's over.

We have a deal in place.

It's not a deal. It's surrender.

I warn you, I have strong support.

You'll be lucky to get a pension.

Get out.


Cardinal's office, please.

Yes, Your Eminence. I think we can reach a compromise.

That's right.

(PANTING) Kathleen! Kathleen, Kathleen.

The Cardinal organised a deal.

DANNY: What deal?

What are you doing here?

Where'd this come from?

Farnsworth's office.

DANNY: You fucking idiot.

What's wrong?

"The prisoners will have the privilege of their own clothes."

-Jesus Christ. -"Privilege."

It's only a word.

DANNY: We have been in direct negotiations with Harrington, who was prepared to accept the five demands as a right!

It's only a word.

Our nine men have died for that right, Daly, and you have no reason to come in and interfere in the work--

DALY: It's a compromise!




I'm taking him off.


MAN: OK, let's get the medical team in here now.

OK, now, clear the room.


(SOBBING) Frankie! Doctor...



Oh, Annie, I'm so sorry.

Sure his sufferings are over now anyway.

I took Gerard off.

I had to do it.

Somebody had to do it.

You're lucky you had the choice.

MAN: OK, Mrs Quigley, can you come with me, please?

Oh, Jesus.


Mrs Quigley, how is your son?

Mrs Quigley, was there an IRA directive for your son to quit the hunger strike?

-How's your son, Mrs Quigley? -Mrs Quigley, a few words, please.