NI premiere of documentary about IRA woman Dolours Price

Published
Image source, Element Pictures
Image caption,
Actor Lorna Larkin plays a young Dolours Price in reconstructed scenes

A new documentary about the late IRA member Dolours Price has received its Northern Ireland premiere.

'I, Dolours' is being shown as part of the Pull Focus Documentary Film Festival in Belfast.

It has already proved controversial due to Price's claims about her role in the IRA murders of the 'Disappeared'.

Price said she drove some of the victims - including mother of 10 Jean McConville - over the border to their deaths.

Before she died she gave a detailed interview on camera about her role in the IRA.

Image source, Element Pictures
Image caption,
The film is based on an interview Dolours Price gave before her death

The journalist Ed Moloney carried out that interview and is the writer and producer of the film.

"This is Dolours telling her story," he said.

"You don't have people chipping in and saying 'on the one hand this, on the other hand that'."

Dolours Price's interview is combined with archive footage and also a dramatic representation of her life, where she is played by the actor Lorna Larkin.

The film's director Maurice Sweeney said that added another "texture" to the film.

"It's taken it just out of the normal documentary context, as we weren't doing a Spotlight programme and we weren't doing a Prime Time Investigates," he said.

"This was a narrative film of somebody's involvement in the troubles and we very much saw it as a cinematic portrait for a wider audience."

The film has already attracted controversy.

She became one of the Disappeared - the people kidnapped, murdered and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles.

More than 30 years after her death, her body was finally found buried on a beach County Louth in 2003.

Image caption,
Widow Jean McConville left behind 10 children when she was abducted and murdered

Dolours Price said she drove Mrs McConville and some of the other 'Disappeared' over the Irish border to their deaths.

She also alleged Mrs McConville was a low-level informer.

The film has angered members of the McConville family, two of whom protested when it was shown to members of the media only in Belfast in July.

However, Mr Moloney stands by the inclusion of Price's claim in the film.

"Everyone can agree that what happened to Jean McConville was unconscionable and unforgiveable," he said.

"There was absolutely no reason to kill her.

"But there is always going to controversy over whether or not she was an informer.

"This is one of the points that arises in this story and you can't leave it out.

"Other people can then follow up and take issue with it as the McConville family have, and I'm sure other people will.

"But we're telling her [Price's] story and this is what she says."

Image source, Element Pictures
Image caption,
Dolorus Price was interviewed by journalist Ed Moloney before she died

Mr Moloney said that the film could have a "beneficial" effect.

"It will tell a whole generation 'this is what the troubles were like'," he said.

"And to another set of people it will remind them what it was like, and for some of them they will perhaps question whether the whole thing was worth it?

"That's the question that Dolours poses at the end of the day."

After being shown as part of the Pull Focus festival, 'I, Dolours' goes on wider release on 31 August.