Episode one of an already controversial seven-part series to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of The Troubles.
Via BBC Northern Ireland:
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….
British military intelligence agents in Northern Ireland used fears about demonic possessions, black masses and witchcraft as part of a psychological war against emerging armed groups in the Troubles in the 1970s, a study says.
“It was quite clear that the church, both the Roman Catholic church and the Protestant church, even for the paramilitaries, held a fair degree of influence,” [Army Captain Colin] Wallace said. “So we were looking for something that would be regarded with abhorrence really by the two communities, and at the same time would be something that paramilitaries couldn’t justify, and also would be in many ways seen as a reason why some of the outrages were taking place.
Veteran BBC filmmaker Peter Taylor has said in a programme to be shown on Monday night that the ‘war’ was ultimately won by the British Government and unionists.
The English-born journalist, who has made almost 100 films in Northern Ireland over four decades returned to mark the 20th anniversary of the IRA and Loyalist ceasefires. He met high-profile figures again to ask whether they still agreed with past interviews, questioning Martin McGuinness [above] about claims that it would only be the “cutting edge of the IRA” that would bring about freedom.