A man struggling to escape the political unrest of Northern Ireland finds that his violent past still follows him in this drama. Martin Fallon (Mickey Rourke) is a terrorist with the Irish Republican Army who, while attempting to blow up a British military transport, accidentally bombs a bus full of schoolchildren. The incident haunts Fallon, who decides to quit the IRA and escape to London. Fallon wants to relocate to America, but he lacks a passport, and his criminal past would prevent him from getting one. Jack Meehan (Alan Bates), a British gangster who knows about Fallon's past, offers him a deal -- he can get Fallon the papers and the cash to go to America, but in return he must kill a man. A priest, Father De Costa (Bob Hoskins), witnesses Fallon committing the murder, and Fallon wants to find a way to keep De Costa quiet without putting more blood on his hands. The original director of A Prayer for the Dying, Franc Roddam, left the production midway through shooting due to disputes with the producers, and star Mickey Rourke later attempted to disassociate himself from the film.