The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid

The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid is a 2017 Irish documentary film film directed by Feargal Ward, concerning the legal struggle between a small farmer and the power of international corporations and government institutions.[1]

The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid
Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFeargal Ward
Produced byLuke McManus
Screenplay byFeargal Ward
Tadhg O'Sullivan
CinematographyFeargal Ward
Edited byTadhg O'Sullivan
FSE Films
Distributed byFSE Films
Torch Films
Release date
  • 18 November 2017 (2017-11-18) (IDFA Amsterdam)
  • 19 October 2018 (2018-10-19) (Ireland)
Running time
76–86 minutes (depending on cut)
CountryRepublic of Ireland


Thomas Reid (born 1962) owns a 72-acre (29 ha) cattle farm in Blakestown townland, west of Leixlip in County Kildare, and right next to Intel Ireland's main campus.[2]

In 2011, IDA Ireland filed for a compulsory purchase order on his farm, with the intention of selling the land to Intel. Reid disputed this in court, saying that CPOs were not intended to be made with the intention of selling property to a specific private company. The case goes to the High Court and Supreme Court, with Reid winning in the end.

Interspersed with reconstructions of the court cases are interviews with Reid, who lives alone in Hedsor, an 18th-century farmhouse that has been in the family for over 100 years, and depictions of his life on the farm.[3][4]

Hedsor House
Reid farmhouse marked on a map of Greater Dublin.


The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid received its world premiere at the 2017 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

It went on release in Ireland on 18 October 2018, and aired on Irish television on 1 July 2019.[3]


The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 7 reviews.[5]

Irish Independent film reviewer Paul Whitington included the documentary among his 20 best films of 2018, while in The Herald, Chris Wasser described it as "one of the most unique and, perhaps, indefinable pieces of cinema this year" and "occasionally, quite wonderful".[4]

The film won the George Morrison Feature Documentary Award at the 2018/19 Irish Film and Television Awards, and also won Best Documentary at the 2018 Irish Film Festival London.[6][7] It was voted Best Irish Film at the 2018 Dublin International Film Festival.[8]


  1. ^ Flynn, Roddy; Tracy, Tony (9 August 2019). Historical Dictionary of Irish Cinema. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538119587 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ Keena, Colm (6 November 2015). "Farmer worried despite land case victory over IDA". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ a b "The Lonely Battle Of Thomas Reid - one man against the system". 17 October 2018 – via Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b "The compelling David and Goliath tale behind Irish film The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid". independent. 1 July 2019.
  5. ^ "The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid (2018)" – via
  6. ^ "Winners accept awards virtually at IFTAs 2020". 18 October 2020 – via Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "Irish Film London Awards 2018". Irish Film London. 18 November 2018.
  8. ^ "ADIFF 2018 Discovery Awards, Shorts Awards, the Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards and the Fantastic Flix Children's Jury Awards Announced".

External linksEdit