Counterpoint: On the Line

Counterpoint: On the Line

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Belfast, Dublin




Transmission 23/03/1989


25min 51sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Brian Black reports on the railway line connecting Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and the frequent IRA attacks it has faced. 

Speaking with train driver, Tommy English, Black enquires on whether or not he worries about his safety. Tommy nonchalantly replies that he does not, "it's just a day's work. If you had to think about it, you would never work, would you?". However, with around a dozen bomb attacks since Christmas, Black moves on to ask the same question to passengers on board. This is met with differing responses, with the general theme being that it crosses their minds but it is a necessary journey and route. 

Perhaps more politically minded is Seamus Mallon MP, who discusses the importance of the railway line and ironically comments how in the face of borders disappearing all over Europe  "the freedom fighters are creating a border between North and South". Refusing to comment on the political aspects are Michael Cox (Nat. Assoc. of Transport Employees) and Bernard Bryne (Nat. Assoc. of Transport Employees), though they state that should the line close, 300-400 jobs would be impacted. 

Concluding the programme is Richard Needham (Environment Minister) who chats about the likely hood of the railway line remaining in service.


A UTV Production.

Production: Jamie Delargy

Director: Tony Boyle

Editor: Colm McWilliams



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