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Scene from The Ballymurphy Precedent. Image courtesy of Callum Macrae
The Truth About The Troubles
July 04, 2019
We talk to the director of a new film on a little-known chapter of The Troubles, the 20th-century conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.
Poster for The Ballymurphy Precedent. Image courtesy of Callum Macrae
Confronting the Past at Ballymurphy July 04, 2019
We talk to filmmaker Callum Macrae about The Troubles, the low-level war that rocked Northern Ireland for much of the latter half of the 20th century. Macrae’s film, The Ballymurphy Precedent, which recently premiered in the U.S., tells the story of the little-known 1971 killings of 11 Catholics in Ballymurphy, a poor neighborhood in West Belfast. Macrae sets the context for the documentary: a political dispute over who should rule Northern Ireland that pitted Catholics against Protestants. He relates the violence at Ballymurphy to the much better-known Bloody Sunday Massacre of 1972, in which the British Army killed 14 Catholics. Decades later, an inquiry concluded that the Bloody Sunday killings were unjustified, and the British government apologized. But nearly half a century after the carnage at Ballymurphy, says Macrae, the families of 11 victims still wait for their apology. 

Callum Macrae, director of The Ballymurphy Precedent

To watch a trailer of the film, click here.

The entire film may rented or bought at Amazon.

Callum Macrae

Shop on Thomas Street in Dublin, Ireland. Photo courtesy of William Murphy
Catholic versus Protestant? July 04, 2019
We talk to John Wolffe, a professor of religious history at The Open University in London, about the religious aspects of The Troubles. Though Catholics fought against Protestants, was it truly a sectarian conflict? What are the roots of Catholic-Protestant hostilities in Ireland, and what role did religion play for both sides? Wolffe also talks about in Ireland today, assessing the state of Catholic-Protestant relations and comparing it to other modern nations that are growing increasingly secular.

John Wolffe, professor of religious history, The Open University

His book, Sacred and Secular Martyrdom in Britain and Ireland Since 1914, will be published in the fall of 2019.


John Wolffe