The Wind That Shakes the Barley

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The Wind That Shakes the Barley is a 2006 Irish war drama film directed by Ken Loach, set during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) and the Irish Civil War (1922–1923). Written by long-time Loach collaborator Paul Laverty, this drama tells the story of two County Cork brothers, Damien O'Donovan (Cillian Murphy) and Teddy O'Donovan (Pádraic Delaney), who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from the United Kingdom. It takes its title from the song "The Wind That Shakes the Barley".

Damien O'Donovan[edit]

  • I tried not to get into this war , and couldn't. Now I try to get out, and can't.
  • It's easy to know what you are against, but quite another to know what you are for.


  • [The IRA have just destroyed a Black-and-Tan mechanised infantry patrol] Mercenaries! That were paid to come over here to make us crawl, and to wipe us out. We've just sent a message to the British cabinet that will echo and reverbarate around the world ! If they bring their savagery over here, we will meet it with a savagery of our own!


Teddy: [looking around Hamilton's study] Such a beautiful room, it's hard to imagine a man's scream from here. Ever seen fingernails ripped out with a rusty pliers, Sir John, hmm? All your learning, and you still don't understand.
Sir John Hamilton: [Contemptuously] Oh, I understand perfectly, Mr. O'Donovan. God preserve Ireland if ever your kind take control.
Damien: [trains his gun on Hamilton] Well, you'd better start getting used to the idea.

Damien: Give me your letters, Chris.
[Damien holds out his hand. Chris just looks at him]
Damien: Give me your letters, Chris!
Chris: I didn't know what to write. And Mam can't read.
[Damien lets his hand fall, sighs]
Chris: Just tell her I love her. And where I'm buried... Promise me, Damien. Promise me you won't bury me next to him? [points to Sir John]
Damien: The chapel. Do you remember, on the way up? Do you remember?
Chris: Yeah.
Damien: In there.
Chris: Tell Teddy I'm sorry. I'm scared, Damien.
Damien: [sighs] Have you said your prayers?
Chris: Yeah.
Damien: God protect you. [Turns to Dan as he loads his revolver] I studied anatomy for five years, Dan. And now I'm going to shoot this man in the head. I've known Chris Reilly since he was a child. I hope this Ireland we're fighting for is worth it. [Shoots Chris and Sir John]

[As the Free State firing squad arrives for Damien]
Teddy: It's not too late, Damien.
Damien: For me or for you?

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