Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave) has been a Roscommon Regional Mental Illness Patient for over 40 years because she was accused of killing her baby in 1942. Dr. William Grene (Eric Bana) is a psychiatrist who takes a look at the woman’s case to decide whether to be transferred or released because of the imminent demolition of the hospital. Desperate to prove her innocence, Rose tells William the story of her life using a Bible she wrote after her admission.
In the 1930s, young Rose (Rooney Mara) leaves the Republic to live with her aunt. Her mother was admitted to a psychiatric hospital as a result of the depression caused by her husband’s death. She is happy there, but the fighting planes that overwhelm the territory always remember the fact that the war is still in full swing. She meets with Michael McNulty (Jack Reynor), and she hopes she will wait until he returns from the war.
Local men warn Rose about the McNulty family because they seem to sympathize with the British. It attracts the interest of a man (Theo James) who later finds out that he is Father Gaunt, the local priest. He also warns that he is in a small town where people talk a lot and that they should not be seen too much together. And her aunt tells him that if he’s seen in his company then he’ll be kicked out.