A Dublin Catholic who served in the Army in Northern Ireland says he has uncovered a slew of ‘harrowing’ stories of the reality of terrorism as he works on a new documentary.
Alan Barry, whose parents moved from Dublin to Birmingham when he was a child, came to Northern Ireland in the late 1980s with the Grenadier Guards and married an Ulster woman.
After leaving the Army he went into marketing and PR, and became the chief commercial officer for an international telecoms company.
The production team for his documentary, The Great Betrayal, which includes a producer from World in Action and BBC Panorama, began filming in January and is now editing over 80 hours of footage, filmed in Belfast, Dublin, London, Glasgow and Devon.
“We have interviewed many victims who give harrowing accounts of what they witnessed and have door-stepped some top republicans to ask them why they did what they did,” he said.
“The whole reason is to dispel the republican narrative. I understand subliminal messaging and the key to Sinn Fein’s message is that if you keep on saying how great you are for long enough, people will start to believe it.”
We have interviewed many victims who give harrowing accounts of what they witnessed and have door-stepped some top republicans to ask them why they did what they did
Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly recently faced intense criticism after he went public to say that the British government was “the main conflict protagonist” of the Troubles, he noted.
However, republicans actually killed 2,148 people and loyalists 1,071, while the security forces – normally within lawful rules of engagement – claimed 365.
“It is important for new generations to understand the truth of this, especially in light of the fact that Jeremy Corbyn could become prime minister one day and he has openly supported the IRA in the past.”
He is planning to pitch the documentary to Netflix and other television channels.
Among interviews conducted so far are:
• A man involved in the murder of two corporals on television in Belfast in 1988: “I listened to him for two hours. It was fascinating. He was totally unremorseful, but did not change my mind in the slightest.”
• A survivor of the Hyde Park bombing in 1982: “He recounts watching the bomber sitting 20 metres away, calmly watching an American girl with her leg blown off and horses trying to stand up with only three legs.”
• The police officer who investigated the murder of an innocent Belfast painter: “He innocently bought a van from a loyalist for his painting business. The IRA then burst into his home while he was reading a bedtime story to his two girls. They pistol whipped his wife and blew his head off with an AK47 in front of his children. The investigating officer breaks down on film as he described the look of shock on the faces of his two daughters.”
• Dennis Hutchings, the ex-soldier who faces attempted murder charges over a 1974 shooting in Tyrone, talks on camera about what Alan says will be shocking details of his arrest and questioning.
“The Great Betrayal will expose those who never faced prosecution and escaped justice. We will expose the myth of the words ‘freedom fighter’ and show these cowards for what they really are,” Alan added.
He has raised some £41,000 so far for the documentary but now finds his legal bills alone are likely to be around £30,000, with total production costs projected to total in the region of £100,000.
The trailer for the Great Betrayal can be seen at www.newsletter.co.uk
Cheques can be made to ‘The Veterans Association’ reference ‘The Great Betrayal’, c/o Nat West Bank, Market Place, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 2LY. Direct payments can be made to acc no 37429132 sort code 01-04-57.
Online contributions can be made at (https://bit.ly/2EX8jdP).