Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland

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A powerful 5-part series from the makers of the Bafta and Emmy winning "Once Upon a Time in Iraq." This is the story of the Troubles in Northern Ireland told by the ordinary people whose lives it changed forever.

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About the Show

"Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland" weaves together the personal stories of ordinary men, women and children who were drawn – both willingly and unwillingly – into a conflict that spanned over thirty years. The series mixes extraordinary archive footage and emotionally compelling first-person testimonies to create an intimate, multi-generational portrait of Northern Ireland’s past, present and future with an emphasis on understanding and empathy for all points of view.

More About the Show

The series begins in the Northern Ireland of the late 1960’s, where like many countries across the world, revolution and social change was in the air. The Catholic population, a minority in the predominantly Protestant state, had long felt like second class citizens. The Civil Rights movement began calling for better jobs, housing, and equality for Catholics. But these demands were met with hostility by some, and as suppression of marches and violent protests began, decades of simmering tensions exploded into a full-blown conflict, known as "the Troubles."

50 years since it began, and after thousands of people lost their lives, "Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland" charts the story from the beginning of the Troubles through to the present day, told with compelling insight by the people that lived through it. The series takes us through the most violent decade of the Troubles - the 1970’s - where sectarian beliefs harden as communities split; through the Hunger Strikes of the early 1980’s; the countless shootings and bombings on the streets of both Northern Ireland and mainland Britain to the beginnings of talks that will ultimately deliver peace.

This is both epic history and personal memory.

Northern Ireland is a small province that has been decimated by atrocities and murder. It's common for people to know who killed their loved one and to see them in the local shop, on the street, in their everyday life. Which makes the story of how the conflict moved from a point of abject darkness to the possibility of peace even more remarkable. We come to understand this through the experiences of our contributors, many of whom have never spoken publicly before. Over five parts, the series shines a light on both sides of the community that lived for decades with daily violence – and who remain determined to hold onto the hard-won peace today.

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