Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Waking Ned Devine (1998)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Waking Ned Devine (1998, UK/Ire.) (aka Waking Ned)

In director Kirk Jones' charming, Irish working-class comedy:

  • the aftermath of the death of Ned Devine (Jimmy Keogh), an Irishman in the small village of Tullymore who instantly died of shock after learning that he had won the Irish National Lottery worth almost 6.9 million Irish pounds - and was still holding the winning signed ticket in his hand
  • two old friends Jackie O'Shea (Ian Bannen) and Michael O'Sullivan (David Kelly), believing that they were respecting Ned's generous wishes, plotted to claim the lotto prize money and split the winnings (130,000 pounds) with all 52 residents of the small town
  • after Ned died and his body was discovered, Jackie exclaimed: "Dear God. You'll be cursing in heaven tonight, Ned Devine," and dreamed of taking a boat ride with Ned and befriending him with a chicken dinner as he entered into the golden light of heaven, while Ned reassured: ("The tide will bring us there safely")
  • the scene of Michael forced to ride his motorcycle nude to quickly get to Ned's house to impersonate the dead man for lottery official Jim Kelly (Brendan Dempsey)
  • his assured way of providing identification information from the bathroom to the official as forms were filled out
  • the heartfelt scene (during Ned's funeral service) of Jackie delivering a eulogy to Michael who was sitting in the front row, to avoid disclosing to the lottery official in attendance that Ned had died: ("As we look back on the life of...Michael Sullivan was my great friend...")
  • in the conclusion, the timely demise of uncooperative wheelchair-bound, witchy spinster Lizzy Quinn (Eileen Dromey) who was in a cliff-side phone booth (hit by the parish priest's van-truck avoiding the lotto representative's swerving car when he sneezed) while she was calling to inform lottery officials to expose the fraud and claim 10% of the prize - the booth sailed into the air and crashed far below on the cliff's shore - at the same time the townsfolk were celebrating and a violin string broke during the playing of a high note
  • the final joyous scene of the group toasting Ned Devine on the cliffside in the golden light with their glasses held high in the air: ("Take a drink and remember the man. Then raise your spirits to the sky. Raise them to Ned Devine. God bless you, Ned and may we be forever in your debt") to the tune of "The Parting Glass" performed by Liam O'Maonlai as the camera spun into the misty air around them


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