Northern Ireland news

Dolours Price film received €300,000 of public funds

Dolours Price (right) said she drove Disappeared victim Jean McConville to the spot where she was killed
Brendan Hughes

A FILM about IRA bomber Dolours Price which has faced criticism from relatives of Troubles victims received more than €300,000 of public funding in the Republic.

I, Dolours – which is to be released in cinemas next month – features interview footage with the leading IRA figure and reconstructions of her life using actors.

Price, who died in 2013, was jailed for her part in the IRA bombing of London's Old Bailey in 1973.

In an interview with The Irish News in 2010, she admitted to being involved in the 1972 murder of west Belfast mother Jean McConville – one of the so-called Disappeared who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

Two of Mrs McConville's sons on Wednesday picketed a press screening of the film in Belfast.

(L-R) Thomas and James McConville outside the Dublin Road Movie House for the press screening of I, Dolours. Picture by Declan Roughan

Jim McConville – who already watched the film at a special screening for relatives of the Disappeared – said he found it "retraumatising" and "in poor taste".

The film was produced by New Decade TV with the financial backing of several public bodies in the Republic – RTÉ, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Screen Ireland (formerly known as the Irish Film Board).

RTÉ refused to disclose how much funding it gave the production. A spokeswoman said: "As a policy, RTÉ does not release details of funding arrangements."

Journalist Ed Moloney

A BAI spokeswoman said: "The BAI awarded New Decade TV & Film Limited €193,000 for I, Dolours under the Broadcasting Funding Scheme."

Screen Ireland said it provided €112,000, comprising €100,000 for production and €12,000 for development.

Earlier this week, a former colleague of the journalist behind I, Dolours said he does not support and declined to take part in the film.

Dolours Price at her home in Dublin in 2010 

Anthony McIntyre said it would "stretch logic" to justify involvement in Ed Moloney's film because it would for him "invalidate" his criticisms of an Irish News interview with Price.

Mr McIntyre and Mr Moloney worked together on the 2001-06 Boston College project, in which ex-paramilitaries gave candid interviews on the condition that they would not be published until after their deaths.

I, Dolours centres on footage of a separate interview Mr Moloney recorded with Price in 2010, days after The Irish News's interview.

Mr Moloney and Mr McIntyre had been critical of the newspaper interview at the time it was published, saying that Price was mentally unwell.

Anthony McIntyre and his wife Carrie at Belfast High Court in 2012. Picture by Alan Lewis, Photopress

However Mr Moloney, who produced and co-wrote I, Dolours, said his interview was "under circumstances that were very controlled" and Price was "very cogent throughout".

He added that it was recorded on the agreement it would not be released until after her death.

Mr McIntyre, who worked as a researcher on the Boston College project, said he was "not criticising Ed for doing this film" but he "can't support it".

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