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‘Dúshlán 1881: Living the Eviction’ Begins Tonight
11 Mar 2013 : By Gearóid Gilmore
Roisín Mhic Daibhéid, Gracie Ní Rabhartaigh, Máire Uí Rabhartaigh, and Maggie Mc Laughlin
‘Dúshlán 1881: Living the Eviction’ is a new Irish language television series that challenges two families to spend three days and nights living as poor tenant farmers from 19th century Ireland.

On the 27th, 28th, and 29th December, 1881, 13 families were evicted from their homes in the village of Carrowmenagh, Co. Donegal. Not able to pay the rent, mothers, fathers, children and grandparents were all flung out from their simple cottages or long houses onto the road by agents of the landlord. Some found refuge with relatives locally, others left for America. Evictions like these were common in Ireland from Famine times right up to Ireland’s Independence from British rule.

‘Dúshlán’ is a recreation of these times as the story of eviction is told through the experiences of the two families, the McLaughlin family and Muintir John Gráinne. The members of the McLaughlin family are directly descended from the 1881 evicted tenants of Carrowmenagh on the Inishowen Peninsula and have travelled from their home in America to participate in the series and to live in the footsteps of their ancestors.

The other family, Muintir John Ghráinne, has a shorter journey, travelling only from Rann na Feirste, but nevertheless, they are keen to explore their own family history and honour the resilience of their forbearers.

Presented by popular Donegal broadcaster, Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, and filmed at The Ulster American Folk Park, ‘Dúshlán 1881: Living the Eviction’ is scheduled to broadcast on RTÉ One as a landmark series of Seachtain Na Gaeilge and is part funded by the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

Experts from a range of disciplines from across Ireland specialising in 19th Century history, provide the context of the evictions, trace the history of the families and how they would have lived at the time.

Filmed and directed by IFTA winner Cathal Watters and produced by Bernadette Morris, ‘Dúshlán 1881: Living the Eviction’ will air tonight on RTÉ One at 19:30. The series will continue its run on RTÉ One on Friday 15th March at 20:30, Monday 18th March at 19:30, and conclude on Friday 22nd March at 20:30.


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