BBC Northern Ireland, in collaboration with the Education Authority, recently organised a special screening of the highly acclaimed series, “Once Upon A Time In Northern,” for educators and school administrators in Northern Ireland.

This screening, held at BBC Blackstaff Studios in Belfast, was introduced by Clare Sillery, Head of Documentaries at the BBC, and Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning for BBC Northern Ireland. Following the screening, there was a panel discussion moderated by Tara Mills. The panel included Professor Duncan Morrow from the University of Ulster, Professor Tony Gallagher from Queen’s University, Belfast, Seamus Bradley from the Education Authority, and Roisin Marshall from the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education. The discussion engaged a select audience from the broader education sector and delved into the challenges of teaching contentious historical content in a society recovering from conflict. Additionally, it explored how “Once Upon A Time in Northern Ireland” could be utilised in both educational and community settings.

The audience at the screening comprised representatives from the Education Authority, CCEA, CSSC, CCMS, Community Relations in Schools, Department of Education, Queens University Belfast, Ulster University, Stranmillis, Open University, Leargas, NI Council Integrated Education, Integrated Education Fund, PGCE students, Early Years professionals, as well as teachers from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland. Contributors from the series were also in attendance.

“Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland” provides a platform for a diverse range of individuals who lived through the turbulent history of Northern Ireland. It offers fresh insights into the events and enduring impacts of the conflict, blending personal accounts with archival footage.

This series was commissioned for BBC Two, BBC Northern Ireland, BBC iPlayer, and PBS. It was helmed by the accomplished director James Bluemel and the team behind the BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning series “Once Upon a Time in Iraq.”

Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries says: “The original ambition for James Bluemel and his team in making Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland was to bring a new perspective and understanding to the conflict in Northern Ireland. It’s such a testament to James, his team and all those who shared their experiences that the series has had such a positive reception and powerful impact on both local and network audiences. It has already reached 6.3 million people on iPlayer and BBC Two and BBC Northern Ireland. We would like to thank all the leaders in education for coming together to discuss the series. We are delighted to explore how it might go on to be used to inform and educate a new generation on Northern Ireland’s past.”