Saoirse Ronan stars in Hozier's new anti-domestic violence video

Cherry Wine promo depicting abusive relationship is to be released on Valentine’s Day

Oscar-nominated Irish actor Saoirse Ronan stars in the video for Hozier's new single, Cherry Wine, which highlights the issue of domestic violence.

The video, directed by filmmaker Dearbhla Walsh, will premiere worldwide on Valentine's Day, Sunday February 14th, and depicts an abusive relationship.

Irish actor Moe Dunford, who stars in the TV series Vikings, also appears in the video.

The song is taken from Hozier’s self-titled debut album, which has sold nearly two million copies worldwide.


Proceeds from sales of the single, released on Friday on iTunes, will go to benefit Irish charity Safe Ireland, which supports women and children affected by domestic violence, and other domestic abuse charities worldwide.

“Domestic violence is an ongoing issue in our society, the statistics of which are shocking and the effects of which damage whole families, communities and span generations,” said Hozier.

Dynamics of abuse

“With the song Cherry Wine, I tried to get across the difficulty of coming to terms with and facing up to domestic violence and the dynamic of an abusive relationship. I’m honoured to be joined by Saoirse Ronan, Dearbhla Walsh and Moe Dunford in spreading awareness on this issue.”

“The song has always been one of my favourite tracks on his album,” said Ronan. “I hope through the video and song we can shine light on the issue and complexity of domestic abuse and in doing so help those caught up in the cycle of domestic violence.”

A recent report by Safe Ireland found that one in four women in Ireland - or about 444,000 women - experience physical and sexual violence at the hands of a male partner, and 79 per cent of those - or 347,000 - did not confide in anyone about the violence they experienced.

The report also found that severe psychological violence was suffered by about one third of women in Ireland, just over half a million.

Little Dorrit

This is film-maker Dearbhla Walsh's first foray into directing music videos. She won an Emmy for directing the BBC series Little Dorrit and recently directed Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman in Roald Dahl's Esio Trot.

“The video featuring Saoirse Ronan captures the complexity of domestic violence and gives us insight into the justifications that can keep people trapped in soul-destroying violence,” said Sharon O’Halloran, chief executive of Safe Ireland.

“It is only when this is exposed that we can really begin to address the control that is at the heart of abusive relationships.

“Leadership on this issue, like that expressed by Hozier, can help us all to face up to the daily realities of domestic violence so that together we can make Ireland the safest place in the world for women, men and children.”

Oscar nomination

Ronan is nominated for an academy award for Best Actress for her role in Brooklyn at this year's Academy Awards on February 28th, and will soon make her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, opening on March 31st.

Hozier’s current tour finishes in early March, after which he’s planning to begin work on his second album.

He told USA Today, "I'm eager to get working. When I think about making my next album, I get so excited, so I can't wait."


Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist