Saturday, October 11, 2014

An Irish Who Do You Think You Are

Dublin Castle, lair of the British occupation forces.

     I know you're all familiar with the TLC show Who Do You Think You Are, and many of you know the show is a spin off of the UK show of the same name.  Perhaps not as widely known, you can view episodes not only from the USA and UK, but Australian and South African versions as well at You Tube.  Today I watched the UK episode profiling Brendan O'Carroll, a well known Irish comedian, and I was blown away!

     The show looked into the tragic murder of his grandfather Peter O'Carroll during  the Irish War of Independence.  In the wee hours of an October morning the O'Carroll family was awakened by a knock on their door.  Mr. O'Carroll arose and went down the stairs to answer whereupon his wife heard a thud, then silence.  Descending the stairs herself, she found her husband murdered.  To add insult to injury, a note had been pinned upon his body with the chilling message, "A traitor to Ireland, shot by the IRA".  No one in the family or neighborhood took this seriously as three of the O'Carroll sons were themselves members of the Irish Republican Army.

     A sham court of inquiry was convened to investigate the murder but Mrs. O'Carroll refused to testify, saying in a letter to the Dublin Corporation:

     "At about 1:50 a.m. on Saturday the 16th, my husband Peter O'Carroll was foully and brutally murdered by members of the Army of Occupation.  Not content with this they placed a label on his body that maligned the living and defamed the dead.  Myself and members of my family have been notified to attend an inquiry which is to be held today by the same Army of Occupation.  I cannot see my way to recognize this inquiry for the simple reason  that it is to be conducted by the murderers of my husband."

     I. Love. This. Woman. What courage to stand up to those murderous thugs otherwise known as the Black & Tans!  She knew full well what they were capable of, her husband was far from the only one to be killed in this cowardly fashion in his own home during their vicious reign.  I don't want to say more and give the story away, but I highly recommend this video, it has an amazing ending and I think you will find it as gripping as I did.  There are only a few ads, and they are the 5 second kind, making it highly watchable.


  1. Ellie, I too thought the Brendan O'Carroll episode was one of the better ones this season.

  2. I just watched this episode, too, Ellie (I saw it on YouTube), and was very moved by the story. At first, I didn't think the truth would come out, but Brendan never gave up and eventually found the real story behind his grandfather's murder.

    1. I wasn't sure he'd find the truth either, it was a great episode.