27 September 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
     
New Documentary ‘Project Children: Defusing the Troubles’ narrated by Liam Neeson to air on BBC One NI
02 Dec 2016 : Katie McNeice
The project directed by Des Henderson explores how an NYPD bomb disposal expert played a key role in helping defuse the Troubles and airs on BBC Northern Ireland at 20:30, Monday December 5th.

Ed Stobart (The Longest Night) has produced the project, with editing completed by Declan McCann (Helluva Tour). It received its world premiere at the IFI Documentary Film Festival this September.

‘Project Children: Defusing the Troubles’ focuses on Irish immigrant Denis Mulcahy, who started the scheme which enabled 23,000 children escape the height of the violence in 1975. Over a forty-year period Project Children put NI youngsters with American host families for six weeks during their Summer break from school.

Liam Neeson narrates the project as it follows the course of events from the early seventies to the signing of an eventual agreement in the nineties, as Mulcahy’s vision came to influence American politicians and contributed toward the pursuit of peace.

The narrative follows children who benefited from this scheme, some managing to escape the long-term impact of the Troubles entirely and those who could not. This is depicted against the wider political narrative at hand, including Washington’s eventual involvement, using archive footage and contributions from former US President Bill Clinton.

Des Henderson, Director:
“I’m young enough to only remember the last decade of The Troubles, a decade in which things seemed to get progressively worse in Northern Ireland before they got better. As tough and unnerving as it was to grow up in Mid-Ulster, it must have been nothing compared to growing up in the urban centres of Belfast and Derry during the '70s. It was these same images that prompted a group of friends from New York to intervene in the lives of vulnerable, impressionable kids to try and coax them away from violence and as Bill Clinton remarks in the film ‘…not be educated in the foolishness.'"

‘Project Children: Defusing the Troubles’ received funding from Northern Ireland Screen and Invest NI as well as Lottery funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.





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