A secret army commissioned by the BBC Northern Ireland

The new documentary, The Secret Army, has been commissioned by BBC Northern Ireland and will air on BBC iPlayer, BBC NI and BBC Four in the coming months. It is produced by BBC NI's award-winning current affairs team, which is also responsible for Spotlight and Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History.

BBC NI's feature-length documentary follows journalist Darragh MacIntyre as he tries to unravel the mystery surrounding the making of an extraordinary American documentary that was filmed inside the IRA in 1972 but has disappeared for nearly 50 years.

During his investigation, Darragh discovers the original film reels in New York. He investigates how the documentary was made, and tracks down one of the American production crew who was in Northern Ireland for filming in 1972, a bloody year of the Troubles. He also tracks down some of the ex-IRA men who appear in the documentary.

Adam Smith, director of BBC NI, says: „Over its 50-year history, the Spotlight team's track record of breaking big and important stories in the best traditions of investigative journalism speaks for itself. Darragh and the team behind this new feature-length film for BBC NI and BBC Four are a look at our past. has revealed a remarkable story and has brought it to light with unflinching determination.

Darragh MacIntyre, reporter, says: „In 1972, an extraordinary film crew arrived in Northern Ireland, but none of them had any real apparent experience of making documentaries, although they were given exceptional access inside the IRA. Our investigation, despite the passage of more than 50 years, revealed how this documentary was made. We tried to figure out many pieces of the puzzle to reveal.

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John O'Kane, producer, says: „One of the biggest challenges is finding anyone still alive who doesn't know anything about how it was done, or why the IRA agreed to follow this group's activities, given the legal risks of appearing on camera. . . It's all shrouded in mystery – and this Peeling back the layers of the story we discovered something far more complex than we imagined.


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