Partition Footage Exploring 1920 - 1922

04 December 2019

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Film can create an immediate connection with the past and Northern Ireland Screen’s Digital Film Archive contains a rich selection of footage relating to the Decade of Centenaries.

Showreels were played throughout our Partition Conference to create a sense of visual context. Material was drawn from the period 1920-22 and we have clips listed below that explore that period further.


The Agony of Belfast

Archival footage entitled “The Agony of Belfast” (c.1920) is significant because it gives a local perspective on events at a time when audiences would have been more exposed to British newsreels.

“Forgive and Forget” shows the opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament by King George V in June 1921.

“Ulster Will Not Yield,” from the Topical Budget series of newsreels, shows coverage of 12 July 1921 in the run up to peace conference negotiations.

“Is it Peace?” shows Sinn Féin delegates including Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins and Erskine Childers at October talks in London.

“Irish Free State” documents the signing of the treaty in December 1921, while “The Great Trek” shows British troops departing in January 1922.

Hostilities continued, with the new border bringing conflict to villages like Belleek, the focus of attention in “Ulster’s Gallant Woman Admiral,” where Mrs Hazel Laverton navigates a paddle steamer through treacherous waters, bringing reinforcements to the Battle of Belleek in June 1922.

Video Clips

Below is a list of archival footage available now on NI Screen:

Partition: A Dividing Ireland in a Dividing Europe

Even more film material relating to Partition is available on

The website contains a wealth of footage relating to local history and life across the decades, and searches can be narrowed to particular time periods of interest.

In addition, the Digital Film Archive and its network partners can create bespoke presentations for groups and organisations around specific themes and subject matter.

For more information contact by email

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