ONCE UPON A TIME IN NORTHER IRELAND title slide woth soldier standing in front of children as woman with baby carriage walks through

The finale of ONCE UPON A TIME IN NORTHERN IRELAND with “Who Wants to Live Like That” – Aug. 30 at 10 pm

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Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland

Wednesday, August 30 at 10 pm


In 1994, President Bill Clinton controversially invites Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Fein (often referred to then as the ‘IRA’s political wing’), to the United States. For some it’s a symbol of international support for peace talks. But others, whose families have been devastated by the violence, are horrified.

Northern Ireland "Punks" now in their 50s and 60s
Greg and Yvonne, Belfast Punks

A year earlier, an IRA bomb exploded prematurely on Belfast’s Shankill Road, killing the bomber and nine Protestant men, women and children. In the days afterwards, loyalist gunmen retaliated assassinating many Catholics.

It seemed that violence might escalate further as tensions ran high, but following years of negotiations between politicians, paramilitaries and the British and Irish Governments, an IRA ceasefire was announced in 1994. A loyalist paramilitary ceasefire followed 6 weeks later.

There is widespread joy when the Good Friday Agreement is finally announced in 1998. But peace comes at a cost. The early release of all paramilitary prisoners from prison — a key part of the agreement — causes anguish for many, especially the injured and bereaved, who face what all post-conflict societies face, a peace built upon the violence of the past.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN NORTHERN IRELAND will be available to stream through November 22 on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS app, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.