Set in Ireland’s turbulent past in the 1800’s, three men’s life paths collide on an Irish battlefield. This is the story of one mans struggle to keep his word to his dying father and fight for freedom. Another mans’ craving for respect and the need to protect a terrible secret from his past. And the story of a third mans lust and unrelenting pursuit of revenge.
But it is also the tale of four very different love stories. The first is a love made in heaven. The second is love that is based on a lie. The third is love of youthful passion and the fourth is love that is doomed from the very start.
A captain and his corporal stand in a lonely Irish meadow. As they survey the scene before them, they see strewn across the field the bodies of a band of Irish rebels who had refused to surrender and who had charged headlong into the waiting guns. The two men view the scene with very different emotions. One is repulsed by the needless slaughter and the horrors of war, while the other is salivating at the thoughts of more. One stays to take care of the wounded, while the other departs to take care of himself.
Out among the dead and dying, a little boy cradles a dying rebel in his arms. By his side lie a fiddle and bow and a pike. He watches as the advancing soldiers with bayonets drawn come ever closer. Manfully he struggles to raise the pike in order to defend his dying father. But in a desperate attempt to save his son’s life the rebel orders his son to lay down the weapon and to promise to renounce violence forever. Dutifully his son obeys his father’s wishes and lays down the pike and picks up the fiddle and bow.
Trying to appease the advancing soldiers, the little boy plays a tune on the fiddle. He watches in horror as the corporal mercilessly executes his father. Enraged he lashes out and with the tip of the bow, savagely rips the corporal’s face open. With this last violent act, the boy escapes and the seeds of hate are sown.
Thirty years later, the little boy, known as Sean Collins, is now a grown man and living as a peasant farmer with his wife and son on an estate. The Captain is now a retired gentleman and having mysteriously made his fortune during the Napoleonic wars, buys himself an Irish estate in order to live out his days with his wife and children in peace.
But the sadistic Corporal, known as Tarbert, on the other hand has spent the last twenty years rotting in a French prison cell dreaming of revenge on all those who he believes are responsible for his misfortunes. Fate has it that his dreams come true and this dog of war is let loose once again.