Shooting helicopters (whoops, TV documentary apocalyspe)…

Okay, here’s Metafilter on a minor, but highly embarrassing mistake from ITV last night:

Last night, British ITV broadcasted “Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA“, a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.

Hmmm… There’s just no way that big truck is getting hidden anywhere near Hackballscross…  The cars are American and the bandit country open out in the dray plains of some mid west savannah… The animation is very good though… But here’s the slightly less glamourous reality of times…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • this IRA self shot footage they meant to show of 1988

  • Hopping The Border

    The footage they showed at the end of the documentary – stating that these pictures were showing how things were heating up during the summer, surely that wasn’t the correct footage either – all the Land Rovers were painted grey and I’m almost certain the uniforms of the police were that delightful shade of RUC?

    Very shoddy if so.

  • Mark

    This programme ( if I can call it that ) was to launch ITV’s spectacular new cutting edge series.

    The riot footage was from the early 90’s as Hopping the Border concludes . The fantasy ends with Gaddafi’s last role of the dice and a secret cash payment of 2 million to Republicans which is followed until the last moment when the cash along with the courier disappears .

  • Carrickmoreman

    The fact that the money disappears leads me to believe that it either didn’t exist, or it’s in the hands of an informer, and will soon turn up in a raid.

  • The bit I enjoyed was Martin Meehan saying that he took up the gun because the only way he could get the British Government to listen to him was to speak through its barrel.

    Yes, indeed, it is very tedious and laborious using the democratic process to get elected and thus earn the right to be heard. Far quicker to kill a few people and threaten to kill a lot more if your demands are not met.

    Meehan expressed his contempt for the present Sinn Fein leadership who have given up on murder as a political strategy. They are traitors to his ideal of a united, corpse-strewn Ireland.

  • Mark

    Or that’s how much they’re paying Sean O Callaghan these days .

    You can buy alot of radiators with 2 mil ………….

  • Hopping The Border

    Yes, indeed, it is very tedious and laborious using the democratic process to get elected and thus earn the right to be heard.

    Particularly so, for someone of his religion, in say Derry.

  • andnowwhat

    What scared me was the thought that there is more of this style of “journalism” to come.

    Kind of reminds me of those C5 “historical” documentaries that always come back to Dan Brown novels.

  • michael-mcivor

    Who is on the side of the dissidents the most – ITV or MI6-

  • andnowwhat

    At least the IRA fought the taliban

    (If anyone from ITV is reading this, I’m joking and that is not real footage)

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    So many cartoon characters, it was a laugh from beginning to end.

  • Rory Carr

    Meehan expressed his contempt for the present Sinn Fein leadership who have given up on murder as a political strategy.”

    I think you may have got the wrong guy there, Democrat.

    Here’s a posthumous panygeric in An Phoblacht which suggests you may just be mistaken:

  • Pat McLarnon. And they said this programme was to replace ‘World in Action? Where have they been since 1977, as I recall, that is when WIA was axed.

  • Scáth Shéamais

    I think you may have got the wrong guy there, Democrat.

    Here’s a posthumous panygeric in An Phoblacht which suggests you may just be mistaken:

    I believe he’s referring to Martin Meehan’s son, Martin Óg.

    Even so, I don’t think it’s much of a secret that Meehan Mór himself had some issues with the peace process.

  • Best thing about this cut and paste documentary was the voiceover provided by Paul McGann.
    Helluva a blooper from itv thats for sure

  • Neil

    Helluva a blooper from itv thats for sure

    At best maybe, at worst deliberately misleading. The whole programme was a sensationalised crock of shit. The only reason I watched it was the promised revelations about Ghaddaffi sending money over to the dissies, which turned out to be five minutes at the end of the programme which basically said the money may or may not exist and no one will confirm or deny that.

    I swiftly found myself being amused by the grey land rovers from this season’s rioting and then found out about the helicopter from twitter and a mate in work. Total crap the only thing of remote interest were Ghaddaffi’s speeches from back in the day.

  • “a sensationalised crock of shit”? Hardly. The story that was told of Gaddafi supplying literally tons of weapons and Semtex in order to strike back at the UK was coherent and convincing. The IRA were lucky to have found such a wealthy ruthless backer to give them the means by which to slaughter their way to power in NI. The film showed how Gadaffi was the main source of the weapons and explosives which would enable a small band of ruthless egotists to impose their will on all the people of NI.

    All the crowing and cackling about the video game imagery (a few seconds in a one hour programme) looks like a calculated diversion to me. A smoke screen to try and obscure the disgusting reality that was revealed.

    Do Sinn Fein have any message for Gaddafi now, I wonder? Surely they have not forgotten their sponsor already? That poor unfortunate fascist ex-dictator would appreciate a show of solidarity, even at this late hour.

  • Brian


    I think Neil is referring to the part about allegations that Gaddafi recently gave the dissident groups some money or weapons as a “sensationalized crock of sh*t.” I’m sure he knows about the huge mid 80s weapon influx from Libya

  • Rory Carr

    While Gaddafi did indeed supply arms to the IRA, the IRA did nothing to help prop up Gaddafi’s regime in Libya.

    For help in doing that Gaddafi had to turn to that tried and trusted source for the supply of weaponry to oppressive regimes throughout the globe and most particualrly the type of weaponry and materiel that is specifically designed to help suppress civilian unrest. And what source might that be? Step forward that leading pimp of the whores of war, that training college for mercenaries and facilitator of armaments salesmen, Her Britannic Majesty’s Loyal Government:

    British arms exports to Libya :

    Latest government figures show export licences for £3.4 million
    sales increased dramatically at the end of last year with a lot of licences granted for “crowd control ammunition” and tear gas.
    On 26th February 2011, the European Union banned the supply to Libya of arms, ammunition and related material.
    In addition to the UN measures, the Council also prohibited trade with Libya in equipment which might be used for internal repression.
    However, up until this point, we and others were making a lot of money selling arms and military equipment for internal repression.

    Military exports increased dramatically in the last months of published figures, selling over £8million. There appears to be a lot of licences granted for `crowd-control`.
    The most recently published show that in 2010, Britain exported directly to Libya:

    all-wheel drive vehicles with ballistic protection, combat vehicles
    ammunition for wall and door breaching projectile launchers
    crowd control ammunition and tear gas/irritant ammunition as well as “training tear gas/irritant ammunition”, anti-riot/ballistic shields,smoke canisters, smoke hand grenades, stun grenades
    sniper rifles, assault rifles, silencers and small arms ammunition
    components for: combat aircraft, machine guns, military small arms training equipment, semi-automatic pistols, sniper rifles, multi-role missiles, optical target surveillance equipment and surface-to-air missiles
    military: cameras, vehicles, software, communications and infrared/thermal imaging equipment and military small arms training equipment
    technology for the use of military: vehicles and communications equipment, target recognition training equipment, software for the simulation of military operation scenarios
    laser rangefinders and optical target surveillance equipment

    military equipment was also sold to France and Italy who then sold it onto Libya.

    A mass sale also took place in mid-2009 of over £12million spent on just:

    combat shotguns
    crowd control ammunition
    equipment for the use of military communications equipment and shotguns
    military communications equipment
    military helmets
    small arms ammunition
    tear gas/irritant ammunition
    ammunition for wall and door breaching projectile launchers, small arms ammunition and more tear gas/irritant ammunition all listed as for training

    “The Libyan government seems to have used Britain to help build a stockpile in readiness for protests. Now both sides are using our weapons on each other.