It is a cold night and Sylvie Dugdale is weeping as she walks by the Mersey. A figure approaches and, dodging aside to avoid him, she falls into the river. Constable Brendan O'Hara, just coming off duty, sees the girl's plight and dives in to rescue her. He is dazzled by her beauty but Sylvie's husband is in prison and the closeness that Brendan soon longs for is impossible. Sylvie has to escape from Liverpool, so Brendan arranges for her to stay with his cousin Caitlin in Dublin until it is safe to return. There she meets Maeve, a crippled girl from the slums, who will change all their lives when a little girl is lost...