Film Series: Northern Ireland and the Troubles
Friday afternoons in February, 3:15 in Newton 201


February 2: An Introduction to Northern Ireland and the Troubles Presented by: Rob Adamo, Lauren Chechanover, Lisa Hofstetter, Pat O’Neill, Claire Ruswick, and Lauren White.

Students will present a 90 minute introduction to the history of northern Ireland. Beginning with the creation of Northern Ireland as a distinct political entity in 1920, the presentation will trace the long history of religious tension in Northern Ireland, the emergence of a political system that deprived Roman Catholics of key political rights, the civil rights protests of the 1960s, the re-emergence of the Irish Republican Army, and British government responses to the conflict. The students will also outline key comparisons between the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland and other global struggles for social justice.

February 9: Bloody Sunday Discussion and screening of the film Bloody Sunday (directed by Paul Greengrass, 2002) Presented by: Claire Ruswick and Lauren White

This film depicts the events of 30 January 1972, when British paratroopers fired on a crowd of civil rights marchers in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Using handheld cameras and a cast of largely unknown actors, Paul Greengrass (who also directed the recent film United 93) presents the chaotic events of the day from the perspective of the marchers and the soldiers.

February 16: Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights during the Troubles Discussion and screening of In the Name of the Father (directed by Jim Sheridan, 1993) Presented by: Lauren Chechanover and Lisa Hofstetter

This film presents the story of Gerry Conlon (played by Daniel Day Lewis), an Irish laborer living in England who was falsely convicted of participating in the Irish Republican Army bombing of a pub in Guildford. The film charts Conlon’s arrest and torture by British authorities, conviction, and ultimate exoneration and raises important questions about human rights in the context of counter-terrorism. Sheridan’s film was nominated for 8 Academy Awards.

February 23: Life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles Discussion and screening of The Boxer (directed by Jim Sheridan, 1997) Presented by: Rob Adamo and Pat O’Neill

The Boxer is a fictional story set in Belfast in the midst of the Northern Ireland peace process. Daniel Day Lewis plays an ex-IRA gunman recently released from prison who has to negotiate shifting allegiances and the difficulties of everyday life in a war zone.


On January 30, 1972, one of the most notorious episodes in the  turbulent history of Northern Ireland occurred in the city of Londonderry.  In the midst of a march to protest the British government’s suspension of due process rights for suspected Irish Republican Army supporters, British soldiers fired on protestors and killed 13 civilians.  Although controversy surrounds the events of  “Bloody Sunday”, it is universally recognized as a key date in the history of Northern Ireland.

Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, this February, eight Geneseo students will be organizing a series of presentations  on the history of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland.  These students  spent the fall 2006 semester articipating in a directed reading  group on the Troubles, exploring firsthand accounts and scholarly  works on sectarian conflict and the civil rights movement in Northern  Ireland.  On Friday, February 2, the students will present a 90 minute introduction to the history of Northern Ireland and the  Troubles, followed by screenings of three films about the Troubles on  subsequent Friday afternoons.  A short student presentation outlining the  historical context will precede each film and there will be time for  discussion at the end of the sessions.  All sessions will begin at  3:15 in 201 Newton and will conclude by 5:30 at the latest.

For more  information, contact Joe Cope,





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