Jim Sheridan Authors Screenplay about Lockerbie | Cassandra Voices

Jim Sheridan Authors Screenplay about Lockerbie


In entertainment news, reports have surfaced that Jim Sheridan – who directed and co-wrote In the Name of the Father (1993) among other award-winning films – along with his daughter Kirsten Sheridan, have written the screenplay for a new five-part series based on the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Filming is due to begin in Glasgow later this month

Pan Am Flight 103 (PA103/PAA103) was a transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit, with stopovers in London and New York City. After taking off from London, at around 7pm on December 21, 1988 – while flying over the Scottish town of Lockerbie – a bomb exploded killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew.

Parts of the aircraft also crashed on Lockerbie itself, killing 11 residents. With a total of 270 deaths, it remains, by some distance, the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United Kingdom. By comparison, 56 died in the 7/7 attacks on London in 2005, and 29 died in Omagh in 1999.

Colin Firth is set to portray Dr. Jim Swire. Swire’s daughter, Flora died in the disaster and he, along with his wife Jane, doggedly pursued justice for her and other victims of the bombing.

Following a long investigation, involving UK police and the FBI, arrest warrants were issued for two Libyan nationals in November 1991. Ultimately, in 1999, then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi handed the two men over for trial at Camp Zeist, the Netherlands. This followed protracted negotiations and U.N. sanctions.

In 2001, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was found guilty and jailed for life for the crime. In August 2009, however, he was released by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He died in May 2012. Al-Megrahi remains the only person to have been convicted for the attack.

Then President, Muammar Ghaddafi accepted Libya’s responsibility for the bombing and went on to pay compensation to the victims’ families, although he maintained that he had never given the order for it.

Throughout his long career, Jim Sheridan has combined the role of film maker and activist. In the Name of the Father, which he directed and co-wrote with Terry George, is an account of the Guilford Four, four men falsely convicted of the 1974 Guilford pub bombings. In 1989 they were cleared of all charges and released from prison after serving for nearly fifteen years behind bars.

In more recent times, Jim Sheridan has taken a keen interest in the still unsolved Sophie du Plantier murder case, called. He recently made a series for Sky: Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie.

Viewers will be intrigued to discover what angle he takes on the events in Lockerbie.

Feature Image: Bob Quinn


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