Sive is a young and beautiful orphan who lives with her uncle Mike, his wife Mena and his mother Nanna. A local matchmaker, Thomasheen Sean Rua, wants Sive to marry an old man called Sean Dota. Thomasheen convinces Mike and Mena to organise the marriage. They will receive a sum of two hundred pounds as soon as she marries him. However, Sive is in love with a young man, Liam Scuab. But Liam is not suitable and is refused permission to marry Sive. Sive is distraught but is forced to do the will of her uncle and his bitter wife. Faced with an unthinkable future she takes the only choice left to her. Set against the harsh poverty and difficult times of 1950s Ireland, Sive caused considerable controversy on its debut in February 1959. Since then it has become an established part of Ireland's theatrical canon.