11 November 2013
Tar Abhaile charts the experience of 12 different Irish descendants and their families, scattered all over the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, as they travel to Ireland to reconnect with their Irish roots.
Host Evelyn O’Rourke visits each of them in their respective homelands to hear the story of their connection with Ireland and to find out what motivated them to visit their ancestral home.
The twelve candidates were identified through reverse genealogy, with groups of community volunteers working together with Ireland Reaching Out (or: Ireland XO) to find them. Using a variety of resources, Ireland XO traces the descendants of individuals and families who left Ireland in the 1800s and 1900s, inviting those descendants back to their spiritual home.
As the twelve travel home to Ireland and meet the volunteers who helped them unearth the story of their ancestors, their emotional journey begins.
• Bryan Lynch from Ayr in Australia met Tony, a distant cousin he never knew he had, but who was probably the only man in Ireland who was able to bring him to the burial plot of his ancestors. He also renewed his wedding vows to his beloved wife Patti, in the very same church his ancestors married in over 150 years ago.
• Marsha Thomas from Chicago visited her Great grandfather’s homestead and discovered that her feisty ancestors courageously stood up to their British landlords.
• Brenda Cavillin from Ontario was overcome with emotion when she returned to the home of her ancestors and Blake Dickie, a Chicago native who was adopted as a baby, shook the hands of dozens of blood relatives first the very first time in his life.
• Julie Evans from Sydney discovered how her grandmother’s grandmother ended up on a ship to Australia as a 16-year old girl in 1849.
• Tom Brosnahan from Auckland explored his dual Maori-Irish heritage, as he made his special ‘hokinga mai’ on his return home to the land his grandfather left.
• Oldest contributor, 91 year old Bill Corcoran from Tucson, Arizona connected with the relatives he discovered through DNA testing and discovered his ancestors were closely connected with the River Shannon.
• Chuck Feerick Snr from Virginia introduced his son Chuck Jnr to his Irish Feerick heritage, as well as to his new Irish cousins.
Tar Abhaile airs from November 17 @ 9.30pm for 6 weeks on TG4 and via tg4.tv
For more information please contact Producers Michelle Connolly (087 8140713) or Martin Danneels (087 8651069)