A Return to Ireland

From Planet 237

by Colin Thomas

Film director Colin Thomas takes a trip back to Ireland, remembering how he resigned from the BBC over censorship of his Troubles coverage. He discovers that the country has lost none of its charm, but that in a Brexit era there is still no escape from British politics.

‘In Loving Memory of
Our Dear Son
Michael Gerald Kelly
Aged 17 Years
Murdered by British
Paratroopers on Bloody Sunday 30 Jan 1972.’

Forty-two years ago I was told to remove a close-up of those words on a tombstone where we had filmed Michael’s mother placing flowers. The shots had appeared in a BBC documentary City on the Border that I had worked on as a director. I refused to remove the sequence of shots, resigned from BBC staff and went to work for RTÉ, Irish television, in Dublin.

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