My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me
In 1988, when Patrick Kielty was just 16, his father was murdered by loyalist paramilitaries.
At the height of the Troubles, three men were charged with the killing, convicted of the crime, and sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in prison. Ten years later, the Good Friday Agreement was signed, setting out a path to peace in Northern Ireland. But for Patrick that peace came at a price: under the terms of the settlement the men who shot his father walked free.
Back then Patrick Kielty was making his name as a comedian who fearlessly confronted the sectarianism and violence of the Troubles.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, Patrick is setting out on a personal journey to unpick the past, present, and future of an agreement that had a profound impact on his life and the whole of the United Kingdom.
He wants to know what the Good Friday Agreement means for ordinary people, what the last 20 years have delivered and what Brexit means for the future. And if he can still make people laugh about life and politics in Northern Ireland.
Patrick Kielty says: “When my dad was killed I honestly believed that peace in Northern Ireland was a pipedream.
But the Good Friday Agreement achieved the impossible and largely brought an end to the bloodshed. Even though my Dad’s killers were released as part of the process, I welcomed the deal as it promised an end to violence once and for all.
Now 20 years later, I want to re-examine what we signed up for – what its legacy has really been for future generations, and if it can survive the gathering storms.”
Patrick Kielty: The Legacy of Good Friday was commissioned for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director of Content is Tom McDonald and the Commissioning Editor is Simon Young. It is being made by Dragonfly where the Executive Producer is Richard Bond.