New Jersey, June 18, 1994. Giants Stadium is awash with green as Irish football fans arrive to watch Ireland's opening World Cup match against the mighty Italy. The sense of optimism is infectious. The Celtic Tiger is in its infancy. Bill Clinton's decision a few months earlier to grant a visa to Irish Republican leader Gerry Adams has added momentum to an embryonic peace process. Jack Charlton's team walks onto the pitch before 75,000 fervent spectators who've travelled from across the globe for this game.
Amongst the fans is Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds who is sitting with leading Irish-American businessmen who've been working behind-the-scenes to end the 25-year-old conflict in Northern Ireland. The electrifying mood is shared by the supporters watching the match in the Heights Bar, a tiny pub in the tiny Northern Irish village of Loughinisland, 24 miles south of Belfast. At the half, the Irish have taken a surprising 1-0.
Shortly after the second half begins, two masked gunmen belonging to a Protestant terror group burst into the Heights Bar. Thirty rounds are fired and six innocent men watching a soccer match were killed. Ceasefire Massacre reveals how the jubilation felt inside Giants Stadium juxtaposed against the horrors of what happened in the Heights Bar, encapsulated the mood of the time. The British government said it would hunt down the killers and ensure they were brought to justice. However, 20 years later, the relatives of those that died believe the British government has questions to answer about its own role in the massacre. In fact, they now believe the British helped the perpetrators and ensured they were never caught. The question remains: Why?
Directed by Alex Gibney.
Broadcast May 2014 as part of ESPN Film’s 30 For 30.