THE BBC will air a documentary this month on the IRA funeral murders of 1988.
Unheard testimony from the families of victims of an attack on an IRA funeral by the loyalist paramilitary member Michael Stone and of a revenge attack at a subsequent funeral that killed two British corporals is being released to mark the 30th anniversary of the tragic event.
The Funeral Murders is made by acclaimed film-maker Vanessa Engle, who has previously won critical praise for her candid questioning in revelatory television documentaries such as Inside Harley Street.
It features accounts from family members of the three men killed by Stone at the first funeral – Kevin Brady, Thomas McErlean and John Murray – who the BBC said have not spoken to the media until now about the day their relatives were murdered.
Television news cameras captured the scenes of terror at the graveyard in Belfast as Stone fired shots and threw grenades at mourners, failing to kill his targets, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, but killing the three men and injuring 60 people, including pensioners and children. He hatched the plot in revenge for the IRA’s Enniskillen Remembrance Day memorial service bombings the previous year.
Three days later, at Brady’s funeral in West Belfast, the death toll mounted after two British army corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, who were driving down West Belfast towards the funeral cortege, were mistaken for loyalist paramilitaries preparing another attack or SAS members. They were beaten by some members of the crowd and then taken away and shot dead by the IRA.
Engle’s hour-long film includes perspectives from republicans and loyalists, including Adams, as well as the security forces and family members of those who were killed.
The film will air sometime this month on BBC2.