By Colm Bryce
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Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History

This article is over 2 years, 10 months old
Issue 450

The first few episodes of this seven-part series, tracing the 30 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, lean heavily on sensational claims, such as Ian Paisley financing loyalist bombings in the late 1960s and rare film footage of Martin McGuinness handling weapons, not all of which are as dramatic as the filmmakers would like to suggest. A large part of the second episode was taken up with evidence that Gerry Adams was in the IRA, which will come as news to no-one.

It also largely downplays the mass struggles of the Civil Rights movement and wider popular movements of resistance, concentrating instead on the clandestine paramilitary campaigns and backroom negotiations between the British government and the IRA leadership.

Nevertheless, it is worth watching for the extensive archive footage and candid interviews with those involved, and the occasional insights into the chaotic, cynical and murderous nature of British government involvement.

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