Main logo for Tile Films

Cromwell In Ireland · (God's Executioner)



In August 1649, a fleet of over one hundred ships, landed in Dublin.At the head of this force, known as the New Model Army, was Oliver Cromwell. Within four years, as many as 500,000 people, or 25% of the population of Ireland, would be dead.

x close
Oliver Cromwell is the great bogeyman of Irish history. His name appears everywhere in the collective psyche of the island. He is a towering figure, a dark silhouette against the bloodstained backdrop of history. But why did he come to Ireland, and does he deserve this black reputation? For the first time in this major television series we get a serious insight into Cromwell the man Cromwell -God’s Executioner, is an epic but very real, gritty and bloody portrait of warfare in the 17th century.


The official release date for Cromwell In Ireland is November 2008

CROMWELL IN IRELAND - In 1649, Cromwell landed in Ireland at the head of a conquering army of 12,000 men. An estimated 500,000 Irish people died from war, plague and famine during Cromwell’s military campaign, making it the greatest catastrophe ever to befall the country.

This two part Docu-drama brings to life that great nemesis of Irish history – Oliver Cromwell. The series recreates one of the most bleak, brutal and war-torn eras in Irish history. Large-scale dramatic reconstructions were combined with ground-breaking CGI to recreate the set piece sieges and battles that shaped Irish history for centuries to come.

Broadcast On the 350th anniversary of Cromwell’s death, the series offers fascinating and controversial new insights into a crucial time in Irish history But strikingly, writer and presenter Dr Micheál Ó Siochrú.l revealed how ‘God’s Englishman’ also helped to lay the foundations for the modern Ireland that we know today.

Many see Oliver Cromwell as a champion of modern democracy, the man who executed a tyrannical king 140 years before the French Revolution. He was a military genius, the father of the modern army, and he influenced everyone from Napoleon to Vladimir Lenin. For others he was a despot, militarily naïve and morally corrupt. The series does not excuse what Cromwell did, but we do get a better understanding of why he did it. We also explore the human cost of war – the violent impact of ethnic conflict on a ravaged population, a theme that is starkly relevant today in the light of events in places such as Darfur and elsewhere.

Cromwell: Gods Executioner has drama, excitement and action, combined with a poignant reflection on the horrors of war. It is a unique take on a man who has cast a dark shadow on the bloodstained backdrop of history.

Cromwell in Ireland was commissioned by RTÉ Television in association with The History Channel, and with support from the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, now the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Extract from God’s Executioner by Micheál Ó Siochrú

(published by Faber & Faber. Extract used courtesy of Faber & Faber.)

“As commander-in-chief of the army, the responsibilities for the excesses of the military must be laid firmly at his door, while the harsh nature of the post-war settlement also bears his personal imprint. Cromwell was no monster, but he did commit monstrous acts. A warrior of Christ, somewhat like the crusaders of medieval Europe, he acted as God’s executioner, exacting revenge and crushing all opposition, convinced throughout of the legitimacy of his cause, and striving to build a better world for the chosen few. In many ways, therefore, he remains a remarkably modern figure, relevant to our understanding of both the past and the present, somebody to be closely studied and understood, rather than revered or reviled.”

- Micheál Ó Siochrú


  • Sunday 14th Sep 2008

    ". . lavish re-enactments, CGI and excellent direction by Maurice Sweeney."

  • Saturday 13th Sep 2008

    "This determined, feisty and invigorating programme outlined Cromwell's short and brutal military campaign in Ireland in the mid-17th century, a nine-month orgy of violence during which an estimated 500,000 people were shot, piked, starved or sliced by a God-fearing Puritan army or left homeless and feverish to die by the bloodied roadside."

  • Saturday 6th Sep 2008

    "Cromwell in Ireland . . takes an in-depth look at the man and his deeds. Combining interviews with a range of historians, dramatic re-enactments and cutting edge effects, the programme portrays an obsessive, brutal, fanatic who cut a violent swathe through Ireland with a bible in one hand and bloodied sword in another."