Set in Ireland and New South Wales between 1798 and 1825, and describes the life of the 'Wicklow Chieftain' Michael Dwyer - revolutionary idealist, inspirational guerrilla leader, and violent alcoholic. Arrested after the rebellion, Dwyer and his family spend time in Kilmainham Gaol before he and his wife are deported to a penal colony in Australia. There they endeavour to reconstruct their lives in the penal colony, but Dwyer's life is ruled and ruined by alcohol. The story brings to life a pivotal time in Irish history when cruelty was matched by cruelty, an uprising was dependent on French support that never arrived, Robert Emmet was hanged, and a family were brutally separated. This struggle for survival leads to Dwyer's increasing violence and alcoholism, eventually leading to his death. When his children finally arrive in Australia 1825 they can only visit his grave.
Sean McCarthy is a Cork-born actor, director, playwright and novelist. McCarthy's work has premiered at the most prestigious theatres in the British Isles, including the Abbey, the Royal Lyceum, and the Edinburgh Traverse.