Wednesday 23 May 2018

Tearful Brendan O'Carroll tells how Black and Tans murdered his grandad

Brendan and Jenny O'Carroll.
Brendan and Jenny O'Carroll.

By Elaine McCahill

Comedian Brendan O'Carroll has spoken of how his grandfather was murdered by the Black and Tans.

The star of Mrs Brown's Boys broke down in tears upon seeing the gun that most likely killed Peter O'Carroll during the War of Independence.

"They [the Black and Tans] didn't even give my grandfather a chance to put his boots on," the Finglas man said.

Brendan's father, Gerard, was also shot and left lying on a street after Peter was shot three times and killed when they refused to give up any information.

Brendan (58) was overcome with emotion upon seeing the weapon - a 1908 semi-automatic pistol.

The revelations came as Brendan was researching his family tree for the popular BBC documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?


During the episode, Brendan researches his ancestors' history and discovers how his family were targeted during the War of Independence because they were republicans.

The award-winning television and film star recounts how his grandfather and his then nine-year-old dad, were dragged out of their shop and frogmarched onto the street where the Black and Tans ordered them onto their knees before interrogating them.

Brendan recounts how the Black and Tans asked them for information regarding three other people.

His grandfather refused to tell them anything saying: "I 
don't know. And if I knew, I wouldn't tell you." The soldier then asked if they were members of Sinn Fein to which his grandfather Peter replied: "Born and I'll die."

As Brendan says in the episode: "They [the Black and Tans] said to my grandfather 'then die' and they shot him three times - once in the head, once in the chest and once in the stomach.


"And then they shot my father and left him for dead."

Gerard was shot once in the shoulder and was rushed to hospital.

Speaking at the launch of the 
series, director Mary Cranitch said: "Brendan O'Carroll is great in Mrs Brown's Boys so to have him on board is brilliant.

"His episode is about the Irish War of Independence in 1920 and the murder of his grandfather and what really happened to him.

"I wouldn't imagine that if you made 
a standard history documentary 
about the Irish War of Independence that it would be too colossal with 

"But with the combination of Who Do You Think You Are and Brendan O'Carroll then I am sure it means it will get many millions of viewers."

Who Do You Think You Are? starts on BBC One on August 7 at 9pm.


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