Silent Grace

Directed by Maeve Murphy, Written by Maeve Murphy, Produced by Deirdre McMahon and Maeve Murphy

Set in Armagh Women’s Prisons in 1980, Silent Grace is inspired by the largely unreported female involvement in the dirty protests and hunger strikes. Aine, a wild child criminal gets thrown into the same cell as the highest-ranking Republican prisoner, Eileen. Eileen helps save Aine’s sanity and in a dramatic turn of events, Aine helps save Eileen’s life.

Silent Grace explores the role that women played in their involvement in the 1980-81 Dirty Protests and Hunger Strikes.

“I have always sought to humanize, I have always sought to source the humanity underneath the ideological or political persona while still acknowledging that drive. In Silent Grace I wanted to create a fictional story about N.Irish Republican women in Armagh jail who went through hell only to nearly be written out of history. I also wanted paradoxically to put the profound respect for life at the centre of this hunger strike film and also raise the possibility of change in a doomed situation. It was written after The Good Friday Agreement and in many ways the narrative arc was inspired by it.”
Maeve Murphy

Maeve Murphy was inspired by a quote from Buddhist humanist Daisaku Ikeda:

“We must strive to make a profound reverence for life the prevailing spirit of our times and our planet”
Daisaku Ikeda

Awards and Reviews

Winner of the International Soka Arts Award for her work for lasting peace.
Nominated for the Hamptons International Film Festival Conflict and Resolution Award in Association with the Nobel Peace Laureates Foundation.

“Important story, needs to be told”
Rich Cline, Radio 5

“Great performance from Orla Brady, bodes well for Murphy”
Pete Bradshaw The Guardian

“The womens’ performances make this film compelling”
Critics Choice: London Metro

“Wonderfully humane, Maeve Murphy must be something of a genius, Orla Brady is magnificent.”
Critics Choice: Dublin Hotpress - Tara Brady

“Must be praised for highlighting a piece of forgotten Irish history”.
Irish Independent

Clip courtesy of Maeve Murphy

Further Infomation


Feature - Broadcast


Northern Ireland Screen, Irish Film Board - Crimson Films UK/Ireland Release by Guerilla Films.

Release Year


Period Set




Maeve Murphy


Maeve Murphy


Meave Murphy and Deirdre McMahon


Orla Brady - Eileen

Cathleen Bradley - Aine Quinn

Conor Mullen - Governor Cunningham

Cara Seymour - Margaret

Robert Newman - Father McGarry

Dawn Bradfield - Geraldine

Patrick Bergin - Peter, IRA man

Ita Campbell - Nuala

Karen Cunningham - Siobhan