VIDEO: IRA footage shown on ITV is from computer game
Footage of an alleged IRA terrorist video used in an ITV documentary was actually from a computer game.
‘Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA’ was shown on Monday night and featured a clip which purported to show a group of IRA members shooting down a British army helicopter with a lorry-mounted heavy machine-gun.
In fact, the video was from a game called ArmA 2 — which is set in a fictional post-Soviet country.
During the scene, which charted the flow of weapons from the former Libyan dictator to republican terrorists, actor Paul McGann is heard narrating over the shaky footage.
“With Gaddafi’s heavy machine-guns, it was possible to shoot down a helicopter, as the terrorists’ own footage of 1988 shows,” he said. “This was what the security forces feared most. It may have been a lucky hit, but for the Army and crew, once was enough. No-one died in this attack but there were many other deadly arms to fear.”
According to an ITV spokesman, it had real footage of an Army helicopter being shot down in 1988 but used the incorrect clip. They said it was an “unfortunate case of human error for which we apologise”.
The problem may have been down to a YouTube video entitled ‘PIRA Shoot Down British Helicopter 1988’ (below) which features the video game clip.
A spokesman for Bohemia Interactive, developers of the game, said the company previously had requests to use game footage but had declined due to the possibility of showing the firm in a negative light.
In postings on the Bohemia forums Bohemia Interactive’s CEO, Marek Spanel said: "Sometimes creativity and realism in our games lead into crazy results and this is one of such example. I just briefly watched the entire documentary and I still can not believe it as it is overall very serious and lenghtly feature.
"We are surprised our games apparently may look real enough to some users already that they can not tell it is not real life footage.”
The footage used in the documentary is viewable on ITV player here. The clip begins at around 28 minutes, 20 seconds.
The website PC Gamer first raised concerns about the footage.