Loughinisland documentary: Sell out first weekend for No Stone Unturned
RELATIVES and friends of those who died in the Loughinisland massacre gathered at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast last night for the official premiere of critically acclaimed documentary No Stone Unturned.
Created by Oscar-winning film maker Alex Gibney, the documentary names the three men and one woman claimed to have been involved in the 1994 UVF attack on the Heights Bar for the first time.
It also has interviews with investigators from the Police Ombudsman's office and a retired detective involved in the original investigation who makes damning allegations about the conduct of his former colleagues.
It is to be shown cinemas across Ireland from this weekend, with the first public screenings having taken place yesterday afternoon.
At the Movie House cinema at City Side shopping complex in north Belfast, film-goers said they were "shocked" at the level of detail contained in the film, which took five years to make.
It follows the story of the families of those killed and the survivors of the atrocity as they campaign for justice along with their solicitor Niall Murphy.
James Quinn was one of the first people to see the film on general release.
"It was actually really emotional, you could feel the pain of the families," he said.
"I wasn't surprised we know collusion was a reality but I was shocked at the extent of it," he said.
Desmond Rooney said the film was incredibly thought provoking.
"I'd read about it and so expected it to be shocking but the detail is unbelievable, it really makes you wonder about what else was going on at that time," he said.
Paul Taylor said he doubts much has changed since the Loughinisland attack.
"We know there were informers involved back then, but I'm not convinced things have changed that much," he said.
He added: "In my opinion it's still the same, there are still informers on the Falls and Shankill and people still getting away with all sorts of murky things".
The film has already sold out across several cinemas on the first weekend of viewings.
The Eclipse Downpatrick and Omniplex at Kennedy Centre Belfast have reported that some showings have already sold out, and are now moving the film to bigger theatres, and adding more shows.
Producer Trevor Birney of Fine Point Films said: "Last year, Brendan J Byrne's film on Bobby Sands broke box office records in Northern Ireland".
"It's humbling for all of us that worked on the film to see so many people coming out on the first night for No Stone Unturned. It just proves, once again, that local audiences will come out to see films that deal with our past," he said.