I know Tom Lawlor, the father of Irish actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor, aka Nidge. Earlier this month he drew my attention to the fact that his son was playing a role in a BBC 2 drama called Danny Boy.
Only for Tom, I would never have seen the drama and I would certainly have missed a great program.
I’m sure it will be rehearsed so if you get a chance be sure to watch it.
It’s also on BBC iPlayer. It premiered on BBC 2 on May 11.
The 90-minute drama tells the true story of Private Brian Wood, who served in the British Army in Iraq during the 2003 war.
The BBC drama is based on the Al-Sweady investigation. The investigation lasted five years and cost around £ 25million.
He investigated accusations of mistreatment of prisoners by the British Army following the Battle of Danny Boy.
It was the war that occurred as a result of the whole world learning that Saddam Hussein had made chemical weapons. It turned out that no chemical weapon was ever discovered.
Upon returning from Iraq, Brian is awarded the Military Cross for Bravery in the Battle of Danny Boy, but the story unfolds accusing him of being a suspected murderer.
Brian is a young married man with a wife and a newborn baby.
Like his father before him, he joined the British Army.
His father’s best friend, also a soldier, was killed in Northern Ireland during the unrest.
Ultimately, Brian is not convicted of any crime or wrongdoing. But everything to do with being a soldier and the investigation that followed took Brian down a road of terrible turmoil.
His wife, who is played by Irish actor Leah McNamara, soon realizes when Brian returns from Iraq that he is a changed man.
His sleeping habits turned into disturbing nightmares, where he remembers the terror of war.
But Brian, like his father, tries to pretend he’s a “real man” and refuses to talk about what he really thinks and how upset he is about everything that has happened in Iraq.
Brian’s wife confronts her father and tells him that he and his son have spent their lives fooling each other by pretending to be tough men.
At first, he refuses to accept what she says. Slowly but surely he realizes how right she is and ends up collapsing in front of his son.
In another scene, Brain’s young son hears at school that his father is a murderer and subsequently asks his father if he is a murderer.
The story focuses on the damage that war causes to ordinary men and women. It is a shocking story.
The political leaders, the people pulling the strings behind the scenes send young men and women to war. Politicians, the media and the arms industry may well cry out for their cause, but this BBC program tells the real damage the war is causing.
We often think of the victims of war, of people killed and maimed on all sides, of bombed buildings and infrastructure in oblivion, but how often do we think of the mental turmoil that war causes in combatants?