The Secret Peacemaker (2023)


The story of Father Alec Reid’s complex and controversial peace plan to bring an end to violence in Northern Ireland, which eventually led to the historic Good Friday Agreement.

You can find the 2008 documentary ‘The Secret Peacemaker’ about Brendan Duddy here.


The Secret Peacemaker charts the incredible story of Father Alec Reid’s ambitious peace plan to bring an end to violence in Northern Ireland. His principles of dialogue, justice, mutual respect and consent which he championed throughout his long mission of mediation would be adopted many years later in the historic Belfast Agreement of 1998.

In 1988, Father Reid was first seen by the world as he was photographed trying to save the life of a dying British corporal where a horrific incident at an IRA funeral had come to a bloody end. The haunted face of Father Reid as he delivered the last rites became symbolic of the 30-year-long conflict.

Unknown to most, the photograph also captured a secret peacemaker at work. In Fr Reid’s jacket pocket were the first documents of a fledgling plan that he hoped would end the conflict.

Based on tapes recorded with the Redemptorist priest in 2010, the documentary charts Fr Reid’s complex, dramatic and often perilous journey as he attempted to persuade the men of violence to adopt his ‘stepping stones to peace’ strategy. He engaged a myriad of characters from across the religious and political divide in an effort to stop the bitter conflict.

Production & Filming Details

  • Narrator(s):
  • Director(s):
    • Garry Keane
  • Producer(s):
  • Writer(s):
  • Music:
  • Cinematography:
  • Editor(s):
  • Production:
    • New Decade
  • Distributor(s):
    • BBC One
  • Release Date: 10 April 2023.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 81 minutes.
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

Video Link(s)

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