Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Story of Reavey brothers’ murders to be told through film

Young filmmaker John Reavey is writing the script for an upcoming film he will direct on the killings of his three uncles who were murdered by a loyalist gang in their Whitecross home in January 1976.

John is joined in the project by his university friends, Jamie Tarr and Natasha Duursma, in putting together the short film that will tell the story of the horrific murders of John Martin, Brian and Anthony Reavey.

Having met while studying at Ravensbourne University in London, John, Jamie and Natasha, have previously worked together on different projects, however this is their first as a team.

The film will tell the story of events leading up to the killings, the night the brothers were murdered, and the devastating aftermath.

This month the team has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help with the costs of the project and at present the funding pot has reached more than £20,000, already four times their initial goal.  In light of this generous financial support, the trio has decided to donate half of all donations over £5,000 to the Peaceful Futures South Armagh charity.

Young filmmakers John Reavey, Jamie Tarr and Natasha Duursma are to produce a short film telling the story of the Reavey brothers’ murders.

Speaking about the upcoming challenge of telling the story of his uncles’ murders, John Reavey said the film is “massively important” for the communities of Whitecross, as well as Newry and Armagh. 

“I’ve grown up hearing so much about stories from this time era, whether that be through the television, the paper or people in the area. I think it’s an area which people my age often lack education on, so I’d love to think that this film could help someone understand a bit more.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have an incredible team on board from the beginning. Since I’ve first pitched the idea, they have all helped to carve the story into what it is now. The story itself is a peace story. There are characters from different religious backgrounds to ensure the audience are allowed to make their own mind up, and that this film isn’t biased in any way. 

“We’re basing the story as close as we can to the reality, and we’ve received feedback from locals themselves. These are the people who knew the boys, their backgrounds, what they were like. I want to make sure I do these boys proud making the piece, as well as every single person who may have been impacted from it.”

Close friend Jamie Tarr has worked on other short films with John and he will be producing the film, a story that he passionately believes needs to be told.

He said: “I find the story of the Reavey brothers to be such an important story that needs to be told. Before taking this project on I had no idea about the true effect that The Troubles had. I know so many people my age or people who live outside of Ireland that have no idea about The Troubles. This is something that I believe people need to be educated on, and telling it through the form of a film is going to be the most impactful.

“The amazing support that this film has received on social media and particularly our GoFundMe page, shows that people want this story to be told. I want to take this opportunity to thank anyone who has shared or contributed to our crowdfunding, it’s because of this support that this film is even possible, so thank you.”

The Reavey family has given its full support to the production of the film.

The project can be supported via https://www. or for more information visit