Cushla Lavery lives with her mother, Gina, in a small town in Northern Ireland. At twenty-four, she splits her time between her role as a teacher to a class of seven-year-olds, and regular bartending shifts in the pub owned by her family. It’s here, on a day like any other – as the daily news rolls in of another car bomb exploding, another man shot, killed, beaten or left for dead – that she meets Michael McCusker, an older (and married) barrister who draws her into his sophisticated group of friends.
Then there’s Davy McGeown, the young boy in Cushla’s class that she can’t help but care for after his father becomes the victim of a ruthless attack. But as Cushla becomes increasingly involved in her relationship with Michael and her investment in the McGeown family, political tensions in the town grow ever stronger, threatening to destroy all she is working to hold together. As tender as it is unflinching, Trespasses is a masterfully executed and intimate portrait of those caught between the warring realms of the personal and political, rooted in a turbulent and brutally imagined moment of history – where it’s not just what you do that matters, but what you are.