Y'All Remember Democrats Used to Win in the Midwest and South, Right?

Clare Island, County Mayo, Ireland, 2009 (Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)

Two political events are going to drive a small boom in documentaries about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

First, there is the way Brexit and ongoing negotiations between the U.K. and EU about the status of Northern Ireland drive wider interest in how it is now. Second, is the political rise of Sinn Fein in the Republic of Ireland.

In Ireland, broadcaster RTÉ recently aired Sean A. Murray’s documentary Unquiet Graves. It features the activities of the Glenanne Gang — a group of British soldiers and loyalist paramilitaries, acting in the period between 1972-1978, where they are alleged to have killed 120 civilians during the Troubles. It’s available for rent or purchase on Vimeo.

It’s emotionally wrenching, allowing widows and orphans to narrate the bombings and shootings that made them widows and orphans. And it is the latest in a series of documentaries amplifying claims against the government of the United Kingdom made by Irish nationalists living in Northern Ireland.

I expect soon we may see similar documentaries from the unionist community. The recent book A Broad Church by Gearóid ó Faoleán, provides rich material covering some of the same period, and the sympathies between the Provisional IRA and the government of Ireland in Dublin.

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