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Two families relive the 'eviction' experience for TV... 132 years after their ancestors lost their homes

TWO families will relive the nightmare of their ancestor's 19th-century eviction for three days and three nights for a new television series.

The families, one Irish and one American, are the descendants of the original evictees who were thrown out of their homes in Carrowmenagh, Donegal, on the night of December 28, 1881.

That night 13 families were thrown out of their homes in the village and left on the roadside by agents of the landlord for being unable to pay the rent.

Mothers, fathers, children and grandparents lost their homes.

Some found refuge with local relatives but others left for America.

Dushlan 1881 – Living The Eviction brings history to life as the two families live for three days and three nights just as their ancestors would have in the small village, telling the story of the eviction through their experience.


The prime-time Irish language series will tell the amazing story of one village and its inhabitants whose descendants return for a challenging and rewarding experience.

Evictions like these were common in Ireland from Famine times right up to Independence but even today eviction, is still highly emotive and a most traumatic event in anyone's life.

One family, the McLaughlins, return from America to take up this unique challenge to live in the footsteps of their own ancestors.

For some of them it is their first ever visit to Ireland and for all it is an emotional reconnection with their family's past.

The second family, Muintir John Ghrainne, come from Rann na Feirste, to take the role of a hardy family forced on to poorer land like many other subjected to the same evictions.

Those made homeless often had to find other ways of earning what proved to be a subsistence living.

Muintir Ui Ghrainne say they want to explore their own family history.

Filmed and directed by IFTA award winner, Cathal Watters and produced by Bernadette Morris, the series is presented by popular Donegal broadcaster, Ronan Mac Aodha Bhui.

The four part, bilingual series is part funded by the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.