Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland

Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland

Tue, 08/29/2023 - 9:00pm - 11:00pm

Photo: A young boy throwing a glass bottle into the road while chaos ensues behind him. 

Credit: Courtesy of Peter Marlow/Magnum Photos

This five-part series tells extraordinary stories from those who lived through The Troubles.

The series combines personal accounts with archival footage to tell the story of the people and communities that lived through the conflict – and are still dealing with its legacies today. Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland airs on Monday, August 28 - Wednesday, August 30 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

From the makers of the BAFTA and Emmy-award winning Once Upon a Time in Iraq, Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland gives voice to the people who lived through Northern Ireland’s violent past through intimate, unheard testimonies from all sides of the conflict. Episodes focus on stories from “Bloody Sunday” to the segregated Catholic and Protestant communities to Margaret Thatcher’s policies. 

Episode descriptions:

Episode one: It Wasn't LikeA Movie Anymore airs Monday, August 28 at 9 p.m. In 1968 tensions between Catholic and Protestant communities explode after decades of relative peace. Hopes of equality are lost as a civil rights movement is suppressed. The British Army is deployed and Northern Ireland descends into conflict.

Episode two: Do Paramilitaries Lie Awake at Night? airs Monday, August 28 at 10 p.m. By 1972 a deeply segregated society has emerged. The violence has escalated and the British Army are constant presence. Catholic and Protestant working-class communities find themselves policed by rival paramilitary organizations.

Episode three: So Many Broken Hearts airs Tuesday, August 29 at 9 p.m. Powerful documentary about ordinary people caught up in the Northern Ireland conflict. The devastating impact of the hunger strikes as seen through the eyes of three women. Tit for tat killings, car bombs and assassinations are now part of everyday life.

Episode four: The Dirty War airs Tuesday, August 29 at 10 p.m. Discover how tensions rise as police and andt he army infiltrate paramilitary organizations to gain intelligence in the late 1980s.

Episode five: Who Wants to Live Like That airs Wednesday, August 30 at 10 p.m. In 1993 a bomb on a busy Saturday leads to a week of gruesome tit for tat violence. There have been many false dawns in the conflict, but finally the desire for change propels the possibility of peace for the next generation. But at what cost?