Comment

The Wind that shakes the Barley is a 2006 published film, made by Ken Loach set during the Irish War of Independence. Its deals with two brother’s developement of the attitudes towards Ireland’s independence.

Like many other Irish, both, the younger Damien O’Donovan  and Teddy O’Donovan can not stand the contemporary supression by the British. In order to express this detestation, a willfull friend called Micheál Ó Súillebheán refuses to tell the British troop his name in English but only in Gaelic whereas the others who are brutally asked do so. This action is not tolerated by the British soldiers and that is why they catch Micheál Ó Súillebheán to take his life in a savage way while the others are forced to witness that murder.

Damien:

Micheáil was killed because he wouln’t say his name in English. That you call a martyr, is it Teddy?

The video also contents the quote above. =)


This quotation presents two perspectives towards the martyrdom.

People should be aware of the fact that this was a kind of senseless death because if Micheáil Ó Súillebheán had said his name in English, his life would not have been taken in this inhuman murder. This was just a routine control by the British and if he had been concious, nobody would have been hurt in any matter. To protect his family and his friends, the 17-year-old Micheál should have bowed the Birtish command. Apart from that, there is no need to put oneself that out for that aim. It is possible to compromise in a peacefully manner.

In contrast to that, Micheáil Ó Súillebheán believed in that aim and without any doubt, he was prepared to resist every kind of British supression. Thus, the will of Ireland’s independence and freedom was shown as interminable. It seems to me that this expresses the former determination of many Irish during the oppression by the British. Those were sure about what they did and thought that only absolute resistance could lead to the targets. In order to achieve the purposes, those even sacrificed their lives.

Therefore, I am convinced that this was a considerable and justified act of martyrdom by Micheáil Ó Súillebheán.