Declan is an award-winning academic, documentary filmmaker and Director of Photography. Until recently he was Head of Film Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. During his leadership, the department was rated first in the UK for Film and Production in The Guardian’s University League Tables for 2017. Declan has now taken on a new role and department at QUB as Head of Broadcast Production. Leading on the design and delivery of a new subject area at QUB, these courses were created in collaboration with local broadcasters including the BBC and will explore factual programme-making for television, radio and multiple online digital media formats. Declan has extensive industry experience and connections, with over 20 years in film production and broadcasting. Fully trained for work in civil unrest/riotous situations during his 13 years at the BBC, Declan gained unique experience working on the front-line of broadcast journalism, factual programme-making and outside broadcasts. Declan was involved in documenting many of the significant events that have shaped Northern Ireland’s recent political landscape during his time in BBC News. Events such as the Drumcree protests, the Holy Cross Dispute, the Shankhill feuds, the Good Friday Agreement and the Leeds Castle talks to name but a few. Declan now teaches specialist skills modules in broadcasting, film practice and television production at QUB with a focus on employability and is based in a purpose-built film studio, a studio Declan helped design to meet the needs of students and staff in the School of Arts, English & Languages at QUB. His PhD thesis entitled 'The Issue of Emotion in Stories of Conflict: Documentary Film Making in a Post-Conflict Northern Ireland" brought together his expertise in storytelling and filmmaking in conflict zones. Declan has extensive experience working in large-scale grant aided projects. His last three documentary films were funded through PEACE III with over £180,000 awarded and managed by the SEUPB for the work. His film ‘We Carried Your Secrets’ was profiled at the European parliament in 2014 by SEUPB as part of a best practice showcase in peace and reconciliation work in Europe. His film work on Sarajevo and the siege there, entitled ‘We Are Not Afraid’ (2013) has even been screened on national television in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Declan is particularly interested in ethical practices around the documentation and representation of trauma in post-conflict societies where testimony is offered in the first person. A prolific filmmaker his most recent films have been screened over 150 times in 20 different countries internationally. He is currently in postproduction on a new short film entitled 'Recruited'. Directed by Declan the script was written by the award-winning author and screenwriter Colin Bateman, starring Shane Todd. The film deals with the continuing issue and influence of paramilitarism in Northern Irish society.
Documentary Practice: In the context of a post-conflict society and with particular reference to Northern Ireland my film work explores through a practice lead research methodology, the issue of trauma in testimony based documentary films with victims and survivors of the Troubles and other conflicts around the world.
Digital Literacy: I am currently writing up a number of strategic reports that engage with the digital media literacy agenda and visual literacy skills as they relate to all levels of the education sector, with particular reference to the creative industries.
Research output: Non-textual form › Digital or Visual Products
Research output: Other contribution
Research output: Other contribution
Activity: Other › Hosting a school group or open day
Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in Festival/Exhibition
Activity: Talk or presentation › Invited talk
Contribution to conference papers, events and activities