Project Children documentary to be aired on TV tonight

Aughnasheelin links to the documentary on the Troubles.

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey


"How To Defuse A Bomb" has won the award for Best Feature at the IFI Documentary Festival in September and the documentary on the Troubles has strong local links to Aughnasheelin.

The documentary into a project which spanned 40 years and involved taking children from both sides of The Troubles to America will be aired on BBC One on 8.30pm tonight (Monday, December 5).


In 1975, Irish immigrant Denis Mulcahy of the NYPD bomb squad and his wife Miriam gathered a group of family, friends and neighbours to start a scheme offering children from Northern Ireland a chance to temporarily escape the violent turmoil of their daily lives.
Miriam Mulcahy, nee O'Rourke, is originally from Aughnasheelin, Miriam and her husband Denis have been part of Project Children for 40 years.The Mulcahy/ O'Rourke family celebreated the success of the documentary in Ballinamore recently with family and friends.


That first summer in 1975 Denis and Miriam brought six children, three Protestant and three Catholic, to spend the summer with them in their home in New York State. Since then the Mulcahys along with a large group of business people and Irish natives have brought over 20,000 Catholic and Protestant children to suburban US for summer-long visits where they forged unexpected friendships and found they had more in common with the 'enemy' than they thought.
Denis Mulcahy has twice been nominated for a Nobel Peace prize, and during the 1990s he traveled as a guest of President Clinton to the North.

The documentary by Des Henderson, entitled 'How To Defuse A Bomb: The Project Children Story' tells the story of their amazing achievement and the long lasting effect the summer vacation had on these children.

The film features choice footage from a '70s American TV film made about the scheme, with contributions from Bill Clinton, Martin McGuinness and the now-adult children, whose personal stories are positioned within the wider political story of how Washington struggled to deal with Northern Ireland and Irish-America’s complex relationship with home.
The documentary is expected to be rolled out across Ireland and America over the coming months.


It airs tonight on BBC One at 8.30pm. For more info see Facebook.com/Project-Children-Documentary