Unquiet Graves – ‘credibility issues with film’s unbalanced narrative’: Doug Beattie

Doug Beattie has described the Unquiet Graves film as “looking like a work of fiction” in parts with a number of “credibility issues”.

By Mark Rainey
Thursday, 17th September 2020, 7:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 7:10 pm
Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie. 
Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie. Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The UUP MLA said: “As always when I watch any programme about the murder of innocent victims during our Troubles my first thought are with those left behind and how they are entitled too and must get truth and justice, no matter who the perpetrator was.

“I also always reflect that only one political party in Northern Ireland – Sinn Fein – believes that violence, like the type portrayed in Unquiet Graves, was justified.

“Much of the commentary around this programme will sadly ignore the victims and the justification of murder and instead focus on some fanciful claims contained in it.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

John Weir on screen in Unquiet Graves

Mr Beattie described one contributor – former RUC officer John Weir – as a “proven liar, convicted murderer” and someone “who never mentioned any of the allegations made in the film during his arrest, trial or during his time in prison”.

Mr Beattie said he also expected most commentators and media to ignore the fact that much of the film’s testimony hinges on testimony “from a self-confessed former member of the Provisional IRA (Paul O’Connor),” and added: “The Maze prison was filled with loyalist terrorists who were put there – along with their republican counterparts – thanks to the work of the RUC.”

The Upper Bann representative went on to say: “In the end I thought the film highlighted the human aftermath of our Troubles and nothing that I saw can or should be justified.

“But its delivery was biased and unbalanced. Its inability to highlight and explore the credibility issues of some of its participants and its lack of reasoning as to why – for example – the British Government would have for one second supported the slaughter of children in a school, made the programme look like a work of fiction and anti-state propaganda instead of a forensic and measured delve into those few police officers and soldiers who turned to terrorism”.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Alistair Bushe