Derry film company behind new ‘Troubles’ TV documentary

Denis Mulcahy with President Bill Clinton at the White House in the early 1990s.

Denis Mulcahy with President Bill Clinton at the White House in the early 1990s.

A Derry film company is to tell the extraordinary untold story of how an NYPD bomb disposal expert played a key role in helping defuse the decades old “Troubles” in Northern Ireland by bringing vulnerable children to America for a summer of peace.

In 1975, Denis Mulcahy - an Irish Immigrant - decided he couldn’t stand idly by whilst Northern Ireland blew up on his nightly news bulletin.

Along with his family and neighbours in small town New York, he started a scheme that would, ultimately, see 23,000 children escape the worst of the violence and, in the process, discover they had more in common with the ‘enemy’ at home than they thought.

With stunning archive and exclusive contributions from Bill Clinton, Martin McGuinness and Eamonn McCann, a new feature-length documentary - produced by Derry-based Alleycats Film and Television - weaves the personal stories of the children who escaped the brutal violence with the wider political story of how Washington struggled to deal with the issue of Northern Ireland against the backdrop of Irish-America’s complex relationship with home.

The film, entitled “Project Children: Defusing the Troubles”, is to be screened on BBC One NI on Monday night (December 5) at 8.30pm.

From the seemingly intractable conflict of the early 1970s to the signing of an historic agreement in the late 1990s, the film charts the incredible story of how one man’s visionary approach to reconciliation paved the way for peace in Northern Ireland.

The film, narrated by Liam Neeson, lays outs out a template for defusing a war that has ramifications way beyond just Northern Ireland.