Northern Ireland

Royal Television Society Journalism Award for BBC NI Spotlight Troubles series

Several people were hurt in the 1972 blast at the university's sports hall in 1972
Image caption Several people were hurt in a blast at Queen's University's sports hall in 1972

A BBC Northern Ireland documentary series, which chronicled the history of the Troubles, has won a prestigious television award.

The Spotlight programme The Troubles: A Secret History won the "Home - Current Affairs" Royal Television Society (RTS) Journalism Award.

The series featured powerful interviews and previously unseen archive footage.

It was described by judges as a wonderful demonstration of "evocative film making".

The award-winning episode, in which reporter Mandy McAuley and producer Tamanna Rahman investigated loyalist murders in Mid-Ulster, was part of the eight-programme investigative series.

The Spotlight series included rare footage of IRA members planning and carrying out a bomb attack on Queen's University Belfast, and footage of former Sinn Féin deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness in the presence of republicans assembling a car bomb used in an attack in the centre of Londonderry in 1972.

It also explored the rise of Ian Paisley, who went on become the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader and first minister including an interview with a former senior Army officer who claimed Mr Paisley "financed" a bombing by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in County Down in 1969.

Image caption Spotlight presenters Darragh MacIntyre, Jennifer O'Leary and Mandy McAuley

Peter Johnston, Director BBC NI, described the documentary series as one of "the most significant" produced by BBC Northern Ireland.

He said the revelations in the programme were testament to the perseverance and tenacity of presenters Darragh MacIntyre, Jennifer O'Leary and Mandy McAuley.

The award for Spotlight was one of 10 awards won by the BBC at this year's RTS awards.

More on this story