Trevor Birney

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(journalist, film producer)
Trevor Birney.jpg

Trevor Birney is an award-winning film producer / director with a strong track record as a producer of quality documentaries and series for Irish, UK and international broadcasters.

In August 2018, Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested for allegedly breaching the Official Secrets Act 1989 because their 2017 film "No Stone Unturned" named the primary suspects in the 1994 Loughinisland massacre and alleged collusion between the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the police.[1]

On Friday 31 May 2019, Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan said in the High Court in Northern Ireland that he had heard nothing to indicate the journalists had done anything wrong and ruled that search warrants issued against the men were "inappropriate" and recommended the return of the material, under agreed terms and conditions.[2]

Durham Constabulary involved

In February 2019, Alliance Party MLA John Blair questioned George Hamilton, Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, on the accountability of Durham Constabulary officers operating in Northern Ireland, and revealed:

"The PSNI outsourced the investigation of this matter to the Durham Constabulary, which subsequently resulted in the arrest, questioning and release of these two journalists.
"It raised several significant public interest issues, one of which was how can a police service from another jurisdiction, albeit one operating at the PSNI’s request, be held accountable for its actions.
"I am pleased Chief Constable George Hamilton took on board my concern and confirmed that Durham's Chief Constable Michael Barton is prepared to come to this board," John Blair added.[3]

Media career

Trevor Birney is a co-producer on the Oscar shortlisted, Alex Gibney feature-documentary, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God", for which he received an IFTA in February 2013.

Trevor Birney founded Fine Point Films to build on that success by focussing on further international collaborations. In 2006, Trevor founded Belfast-based production company Below The Radar where he produced a range of English and Irish language programming, from award-winning political biographies to landmark history series to live, weekly magazine shows. Prior to that, he was editor of current affairs at Ulster Television.

In a career spanning two decades, he has also won a Justice Media Award, two Royal Television Society awards, been nominated for three others and was named NI Broadcaster of the Year in 2002. Trevor began his career in Enniskillen on the Impartial Reporter newspaper and has also worked in radio.[4]


Related Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey were arrested after their Loughinisland Massacre documentary premieredArticle25 March 2019Kerry O'SheaAmnesty International: “We are concerned that the arrest of these journalists, in connection with their work investigating grave human rights abuses within the UK, undermines freedom of expression and freedom of the press."