Description The number of evictions in Balinmore, Ireland is on the rise. Eamonn McDonagh feels that he must resist the English landlord who is responsible for the misery inflicted on the Irish people in his town, so he forms a secret society known as "The Black Thorn." He warns his oppressor that violence will erupt if he continues with the evictions, which he does, starting with the eviction of Eamonn's sister. Watching all the violence that ensues is McDonagh's ten year old son, Joseph, who is caught between the gentle example of his local priest and the violent actions of his father. So begins the story of "The Black Thorn." It is a tale that starts in Ireland in 1846 at the start of the potato blight. It takes Joseph McDonagh through the An Gorta Mor (The Great Hunger) and eventually, by way of one of the many "Coffin Ships," to America and into its vicious Civil War. It ends in the Schuylkill coal region of Pennsylvania in 1867 where Joseph is arrested and put on trial for the murder of a brutal mine boss, --- a murder that he didn't commit.