Former policeman blows the whistle on murderous Glenanne Gang in new documentary
A DOCUMENTARY about the loyalist Glenanne Gang - who were thought to be responsible for more than 120 killings in an area of Mid Ulster once dubbed 'murder triangle' - took four years to complete.
West Belfast filmmaker Sean Murray said he could have made the film in two years but said it "wouldn't have been the documentary he wanted to make".
The film, which was funded from charitable donations, crowd funding and from the filmmaker's own pocket, tells the story of a gang of loyalists, that included members of the security forces [my emph.], involved in a sectarian campaign of terror from 1972 until 1978.
Narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Stephen Rea, it finishes with a reading of the 'Strand at Lough Beg', the famous poem by Seamus Heaney he wrote in memory of his cousin Colum McCartney, who was shot dead by members of the Glennanne Gang dressed as UDR soldiers in Newtownhamilton in 1975.
"I contacted Stephen Rea probably about a year after we had started the film," said Murray, the son of leading republican Sean 'Spike' Murray.
"The one condition he had was that he wanted approval from the Heaney family, which of course we needed to do anyway. Once we got that over the line Stephen was amazing and his voice really brings another dynamic to it."
Catholic priests Fr Denis Faul and Fr Raymond Murray, who started to highlight the activities of the murder gang back in the 1970s, said at the time that the RUC had "a 100 per cent failure rate" when it came to convicting loyalists for murders in the area.
More than a decade ago the Pat Finucane Centre and journalist Anne Cadwallader started to research the activities of the Glenanne Gang.
The book, Lethal Allies by Ms Cadwallader, provided the basis of the research for the documentary, which also takes the same name.
However in the course of the making of the film Mr Murray said he managed to uncover new details of how the gang operated after speaking to ex-RUC man and self confessed Glenanne gang member John Weir.The Irish Times