Northern Ireland news

Work begins on short film about the Reavey brothers

Brothers John Martin Reavey, 24, Brian Reavey, 22, and17year-old Anthony Reavey were died after being shot in January 1976
Connla Young

Work has started on a short film about three brothers shot dead by loyalists in south Armagh.

John Martin (24) and Brian Reavey (22) died when members of the Glenanne Gang burst into their Whitecross home and opened fire as they watched TV on January 4, 1976.

A third brother, Anthony (17), was injured and died several weeks later.

The Glenanne gang, which included members of the RUC, UDR and UVF, is believed to have been responsible for around 120 sectarian killings in the 1970s.

Work on a new film about the the tragic brothers began yesterday in south Armagh and the man behind the project is the murdered men's nephew John Reavey.

The 22-year-old, who is also from Whitecross, studied film in London and has now turned his attention to this very personal project.

His home village took a step back in time yesterday as it was transformed into a scene from the 1970s.

Locals took a double take as actors dressed as British soldiers patrolled the area once more.

Mr Reavey, whose father is the murdered men's brother Paul, said the film has been financed through crowd funding and described it as a “passion project” with those involved providing their services voluntarily.

The film maker hopes the drama will be shown at film festivals and released online.

The screenplay concentrates on the youngest of the murdered brothers, Anthony, who died several weeks after the attack at his home.

“He was the one who survived,” his nephew said.

“We have more information on him because he gave statements.

“We know what he was thinking at the time.”

Mr Reavey said he has been involved in film projects before but that this was his biggest project to date.

The activities of he Glenanne Gang are well documented and many of the key figures in the murder squad are known.

He added that the film is a "peaceful" project, and not meant to bring up "bad blood at all.”

Filming is expected to last until Sunday.

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