This documentary will explore one of the darkest episodes of the Irish Civil War, when six Republican soldiers were shot dead by their former comrades on the summit of Ben Bulben in County Sligo.
One of the victims was Brian MacNeill. His nephew, former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell now wants to discover what happened on that day in September 1922. Did Brian and his comrades really die in an ambush, as the official version goes, or were they killed in cold blood? Why was Brian MacNeill, the son of a minister in the Free State government, fighting on the Republican side? What were the forces, events and ideologies that drove him and other Irish men to take up arms against their former comrades – and in Brian's case, members of his own family?
Filmed in Sligo and Dublin, the documentary will follow Michael's investigation. Piecing together accounts from the military archives, IRA papers, interviews with descendants, and family letters Michael will paint a compelling picture of a family divided and a country riven apart. At its core will be the story of Brian MacNeill, the brilliant young medical student whose death goes to the heart of one of Ireland's greatest historical traumas.Back to Factual New Season Highlights Back to RTÉ One Highlights