Endgame in Ireland
This major new series reveals the inside story of the peace process in Northern Ireland, told through the first-hand accounts of all the key players and decision makers, politicians and paramilitary leaders.
Endgame In Ireland uses the award-winning techniques perfected by Norma Percy in The Death Of Yugoslavia and The 50 Years War - Israel And The Arabs, to bring sense to a complex story and show history being made, by the people making it. Told for the first time by the key figures in each stage of the process, the story of the meetings and confrontations, the private phone calls of heads of government, the behind-the-scenes and secret negotiations, comes alive through riveting personal revelations.
Bomb And Ballot Box begins the series in 1981, when Bobby Sands, an IRA prisoner on hunger strike, won a Westminster by-election, and inadvertently started the endgame in Northern Ireland. In 1983 Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams too was elected as a Westminster MP. Republicans north and south of the border had discovered a new weapon - the ballot box.
But they had not abandoned their old ones: in October 1984 the IRA bombed the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton, almost killing the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. The story of the hunger strike and Sinn Fein's growing involvement in electoral politics is told by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Margaret Thatcher and her then Principal Private Secretary, Robin Butler, describe what happened when the Brighton bomb exploded.
The story of the Anglo-Irish agreement and its repercussions is told by, among others, Garret FitzGerald, Irish Prime Minister; Margaret Thatcher; Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein; Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein and IRA; James Molyneaux, Ulster Unionist Party; John Hume, leader of the SDLP; and Michael Stone, loyalist paramilitary.
This programme ends as the IRA's most implacable enemy, Margaret Thatcher, leaves Downing Street for the last time on 28 November 1990. The story is taken up next week by John Major, who within months of taking office survives a daring mortar attack on 10 Downing Street.
In "Talking to Terrorists" which will be aired on the 1st July 2001. In November 1990, John Major became Prime Minister and within months had survived a daring IRA mortar attack at 10 Downing Street. But this wasn't the only message he received.
While publicly the British government refused to talk to terrorists until the violence stopped, behind the scenes a top-secret channel of communication, "the link", opened between the republican movement and Her Majesty's Government. Talking To Terrorists reveals for the first time the secret meetings, coded messages and intrigues at the heart of the peace process, and hears from Denis Bradley, the go-between in the link.
Meanwhile, in private, John Hume and Gerry Adams discussed their idea for the British and Irish governments to issue a declaration of principles, which might lead to an end to violence. And as talks proceeded between the Irish Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds, and John Major, a fiery relationship developed between the two.
Those telling the story include John Major; Albert Reynolds; Gerry Adams; Martin McGuinness; Denis Brady; Johnny Adair, loyalist paramiliary; John Hume, leader of the SDLP; and James Molyneaux, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.
The episode ends with the signing of the Downing Street Declaration in December 1993, and the series continues next week as then US President Bill Clinton describes how in 1994 he reversed policy and granted Gerry Adams a US visa.
Endgame In Ireland is a Brook Lapping Production; the series producer is Norma Percy.
Running Time: 60 minutes (approx)
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