The Troubles Episode One
Fifty years after troops were sent onto the streets of Northern Ireland, a leading team of investigative journalists uncover secrets about the decades-long conflict that claimed more than 3,700 lives. Reporter Darragh MacIntyre opens the series, discovering an array of new evidence, including previously classified documents, unseen film and fresh testimony from key new witnesses to the origins of the Troubles. It throws light on the formation of the Provisional Irish Republican Army as well as the parts played by radicals who became elder statesmen like Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness.
In this episode, the Spotlight team traces how, in the 1960s, suspicion led to unrest between unionists and nationalists, undermining Northern Ireland’s government. The arrival of the British Army in August 1969 brought a respite, and the soldiers were enthusiastically greeted as protectors by many nationalists. That relationship was soured by fatal errors and calculated acts of violence. New information about Martin McGuinness’s role at that time is brought to light, and the episode concludes with the destruction of the Northern Ireland government, a moment when IRA members believed they were about to force the British Army out of Northern Ireland.
Broadcast date: 10th September 2019 Credits to BBC Northern Ireland
The Troubles Episode Two
Reporter Darragh MacIntyre finds the IRA anticipating that 1972 would be their `year of victory’, only to be countered by a massive British military response in the midst of what became the bloodiest period of the conflict.
The programme features previously unseen footage and new discoveries around the secret talks between the government and the IRA about British withdrawal, including interviews with the people who were there. Were the talks a serious offer or a ruse to weaken the IRA by dragging them into protracted negotiations?
One insider’s secret diary provides a fresh insight into a missed opportunity for peace. Then, as sectarian fighting with Protestant loyalists began to increase, a coup inside the IRA sets the stage for what they called ‘the Long War’.
Broadcast date: 17th September 2019 BBC Northern Ireland
The Troubles Episode Three
When Margaret Thatcher entered Downing Street in 1979, she was confronted by an IRA prepared to conduct a long war of attrition against Britain. Jennifer O’Leary discovers arms connections in America and Libya and speaks directly to individuals involved in smuggling weapons for the IRA. She also hears an astonishing admission about the Brighton bomb, which almost killed Mrs Thatcher, and other attacks in Britain.
Out of the IRA hunger strikes, Irish republicans also developed the parallel political strategy that saw their leader, Gerry Adams, elected to parliament. Success at the ballot box began to build tension inside the IRA between those who wanted to build their political path and those who primarily adhered to their long war.
Originally broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland 24th Sep 2019
The Troubles Episode Four
New revelations about how agents of British intelligence infiltrated the Irish Republican Army. By 1979, the British security forces believed the IRA had become so security conscious that they were impossible to penetrate. But reporter Jennifer O’Leary reveals how one weakness in the IRA’s internal security was exploited to unlock many of the group’s secrets. She charts how Britain used informers and combined that advantage in secret intelligence with the use of special forces to take on one of the IRA’s deadliest units – a strategy that culminated with the Loughgall ambush, when the SAS killed eight IRA men attacking a police station. The programme shows that the aftermath of the attack only made the IRA’s informer problem worse.
Originally broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland 1st Oct 2019
Sourced from You Tube Credits to BBC