An exciting new EU PEACE funded storytelling project called ‘Border Lives’ has produced six short films capturing people’s life and experiences along the border region of Northern Ireland during the years of ‘The Troubles’, and right up to the present day. The short films which were made by the ‘Border Lives’ project team will now be screened in a series of venues along both sides of the border.
The project tells the ‘everyday’ stories of how people adapted their daily lives and routine amidst the violence, fear, isolation, and uncertainty of the conflict but also shows the humour, friendships, and community spirit that existed.
The Border Lives project is run by Tyrone Donegal Partnership and funded by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme, managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the Community Relations Council/ Pobal Consortium.
Each of the six films focuses on a different location along the border and gathers a breadth of perspectives and stories from local people. Once the series of screenings is completed, they will be available on a new website to be used as an education tool and historical documentation.
The Belleek and Donegal Border Film will be screened on Tuesday 10th June at 7.30pm at the Rockfield Community Hall, and on Thursday 19th June at 11am at Ballagh Centre Rossinver.
The film includes 19 interviewees who talked about economic impact, customs, road closures and again of smuggling.
Belleek was subject to 180 terrorist incidents during the troubles and the town was badly affected by regular bombings because of its proximity to the Border.
However, both sides of the community rallied to each other’s help when this happened and there are interviews with local clergy that described community initiatives in the town.
The British Soldiers who were stationed there played a prominent role in the local community yet were only teenagers. The film features a powerful interview with Isobel Cleary about watching a soldier dying outside her house
Project Director, Conor McGale said:
“The more we delved into this project, the more fascinating it became. The first film to be screened will be shown in Rockfield Community Hall, near Ballyshannon on Tuesday 10th of June, with strong contributions from people who have lived and worked in and around the area. 19 interviewees participate in this film. Again people here talked about economic impact, customs, road closures and of smuggling Here we saw ordinary lives played out before an extraordinary background.
“Across all six films, there were a strong and varied series of contributions. They ranged from the honest and heart felt testimonies of people from the Protestant communities and Orange Order background who spoke of their sense of isolation and fear, to the experience of people near Clones whose economic disadvantage caused by the closed roads in their area made a deep impression on their lives. We met some great characters and heard some deeply moving stories,” he said.