Bobby Sands film which received public funding is to make television premiere

Posted By: September 20, 2017


Distributed by the Irish National Caucus
I have the honor of being interviewed in this excellent documentary film. I am pleased BBC NI is going to show it.This film is objective, professional and very powerful. It’s a work not only of socio-political history but of art.
I am so pleased that Bobby Sands has the last word— a word that will resonate forever with all who love justice and peace, free from all oppression. Sands’ heroism—and that of his nine colleagues who also died on hunger strike— exposed the inherent illegitimacy of England’s position in any part of Ireland.”—Fr. Sean McManus
Bobby Sands film which received public funding
 is to make television premiere

The film ‘Bobby Sands: 66 Days’ is due to make its television 

premiere on Sunday evening on BBC Two Northern Ireland.
 Picture by Chris Scott/PA Wire

John Monaghan. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The documentary on Bobby Sands 
was written and directed by Brendan J Byrne

A DOCUMENTARY about Bobby Sands – which faced criticism from Unionists after it emerged that public money had been used to make it – will make its television premiere on BBC NI at the weekend.

The film, ‘Bobby Sands: 66 Days’, charts the IRA hunger striker’s life and imprisonment and is based on extracts from his prison diaries.

Written and directed by Ardoyne-born Brendan J Byrne, the extracts are read by west Belfast actor Martin McCann and the film combines archive news footage, custom animation, and dramatic reconstruction.

The 27-year-old IRA prisoner died after spending 66 days on hunger strike in the Maze prison in May 1981.

Released in cinemas last summer, it will be shown for the first time on television on BBC 2 NI at 9 pm on Sunday.

The film proved hugely popular amongst cinema-goers across Ireland when released last year, recording the Republic’s highest opening weekend returns for an Irish-made documentary, taking in more than €50,000.

In The North it came fifth in the box office chart on its debut weekend, finishing ahead of the combined audience total for both Star Trek and Ghostbusters.

Unionists reacted with anger to the news that the film had received tens of thousands in public funding from the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen.

Northern Ireland Screen revealed they gave £76,000 to the project, while the BBC did not disclose how much it contributed.

Former Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP, the Ulster Unionist Tom Elliott, last year said that the decision to award public money for the film was “disgraceful.”