To mark 100 years since the creation of Northern Ireland, Patrick Kielty will explore its story, from partition through to present day, in a one-off, authored documentary for BBC One. In 1921, against a backdrop of rebellion and conflict, Ireland was partitioned by the Westminster government - and Northern Ireland was born. Defined by its complex history, community divisions and diversity, Northern Ireland’s beginnings continue to influence many aspects of everyday life to this day.
With his inimitable style and a strong dose of humour, Patrick will embark on a journey to uncover some of the turning points in Northern Ireland’s history, meeting people whose stories have an intimate connection to the key moments in its first 100 years and discovering how their remarkable stories intersect with those of his own family.
He will try to make sense of some of the events which have shaped Northern Ireland: from the unionist families who got caught on the ‘wrong side’ of the new border to the British government’s interest in ending partition at the start of the Second World War in return for Ireland abandoning its policy of neutrality towards the Nazis. He will look at how partition has shaped the identities of the people of Northern Ireland, how they feel about their unique corner of the world today, and how their past is now shaping its future.
The film follows Dragonfly’s 2018 Grierson Award winning Patrick Kielty documentary, My Dad, The Peace Deal And Me, also scored by Soundology.
Made by Dragonfly for BBC One. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, Content and Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History and Religion. The Commissioning Editors are Emma Loach and Justin Binding. It was Produced by Paula Nightingale and Directed by Paul Tilzey. The Executive Producers are Tom Pullen and Richard Bond.