Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Troubles soldiers to 'name and shame' IRA men in documentary

Makers of a new crowdfunded documentary has said it will "expose" members of the IRA.

'The Great Betrayal' is being made by a group of former British soldiers, including ex-SAS members, who say it is a response to probes into state killings in Northern Ireland.

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Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this month Tory MP Richard Benyon, who served in the British Army in Northern Ireland, said he believed investigations were a "form of retributive politics".

He referred to the case of Dennis Hutchings, who is standing trial over the death of John Pat Cunningham in 1974.

27-year-old Mr Cunningham had a mental age of between six and 10, and was shot in the back by the Army on the outskirts of Benburb. 

Former serviceman Alan Barry is leading efforts to produce the film, and speaking to the Birmingham Mail said the documentary will go into "graphic detail".

"The terrorists are portraying themselves as heroes, freedom fighters. They are cultivating a Robin Hood image. In fact, they were callous killers. They were no better than ISIS," he said.

It is thought the film may be a reaction to recent documentaries about the Troubles, including Alex Gibney's acclaimed look at the Loughinisland massacre No Stone Unturned.

A crowdfunding effort has been launched with a target of £50,000, which Mr Barry says this money would go towards the cost of production.

The British government is currently considering a statute of limitations on security force members being prosecuted for offences committed during the early days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

A report produced by the Defence Committee in April said in its conclusion: "It is clear from the experience of these legacy investigations that, unless a decision is taken to draw a line under all Troubles-related cases, without exception, they will continue to grind on for many years to come – up to half-a-century after the incidents concerned."

There has been push-back against the proposal, and earlier this week relatives of those shot dead by soldiers and RUC officers during the Troubles staged a protest at Stormont in opposition to the move.

The Defence Committee report was heavily criticised by Amnesty International.

The NGO's Northern Ireland Programme Director Patrick Corrigan said if its recommendations were implemented, it would "in effect be the granting of a blanket amnesty for human rights abuses committed by former members of the security forces in Northern Ireland".

The Irish government has said it will oppose any amnesty for security force members as part of measures to address the legacy of the Troubles.

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