The Rewind

RTE To Show Loughinisland Massacre Documentary This Wednesday

RTE To Show Loughinisland Massacre Documentary This Wednesday

RTÉ will air the controversial 'No Stone Unturned' documentary on Wednesday night. It covers the circumstances behind Northern Ireland’s Loughlinisland massacre.

Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney's documentary details the events that unfolded on 18 June 1994 in the village of Loughinisland, Co Down when three gunmen burst into a pub with assault rifles and killed six people while wounding others.

The shootings occurred while the patrons watched Ireland play in a World Cup match.

RTE will be the first public service broadcaster to broadcast it. The case came to further prominence after Belfast journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested following the making of the film. That was later dropped after a court ruling.

No prosecutions have ever been made in relation to the shooting.

"RTÉ is delighted to be broadcasting Alex Gibney's powerful documentary, which reveals disturbing new evidence about this massacre," said David Nally, Managing Editor of Current Affairs at RTÉ.

"Journalism that helps unearth the hidden stories behind the Northern Ireland troubles is a very important public service. These stories can be uncomfortable but in the end, truth matters."

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Speaking to The Rewind, Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard, who was campaigned for the documentary's broadcast, welcomed the news and has called on the BBC to follow suit.

The South Down MP said:

"I welcome the fact that the national broadcaster, RTÉ, has chosen to screen the award-winning documentary 'No Stone Unturned' which laid bare collusion and cover up of the Loughinisland Massacre in which six men were brutally killed by a loyalist death squad.

"I would encourage people across the island to watch it.

"The BBC, however, who actually commissioned the documentary, are still refusing to screen it.

“I have repeatedly challenged the BBC to reverse this decision but to date, they haven't shown it.

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"It is long past the time the BBC ended its boycott of 'No Stone Unturned' and give people the opportunity to watch it. Its continued refusal to do so smacks of the censorship and dark days of broadcasting bans.”

A BBC spokesperson said there were 'legal and editorial factors' for this.

We are unable to comment on the important legal and editorial considerations which prevented our continuing involvement with this project. We made every effort to see if these could be resolved in ways consistent with the requirements of our editorial guidelines.

These are the basis on which all BBC commissioning and broadcasting decisions are made. Our news and other outputs continue to cover the events and legacies of what happened at Loughinisland in 1994.

No Stone Unturned will air on RTÉ One on Wednesday 2 October at 9.35pm.

 

 

Maurice Brosnan

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