Sunday 20 October 2019

'Who Do You Think You Are?': Bertie Ahern finds relative died fighting for the Free State Army

Bertie Ahern features on the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on RTE One, Sunday September 30th at 9.30pm
Bertie Ahern features on the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on RTE One, Sunday September 30th at 9.30pm
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern digs into his family's past in the next episode of Who Do You Think You Are? and finds an IRA messenger boy, a relative who died fighting for the Free State Army, and why his mother had a lifelong resentment of 'The Brits'.

Ahern may be known as a Dubliner but his roots come from Cork, where both of his parents were born and raised, and the fourth episode of the RTE series sees him discovering more about their early lives.

His late father Con had always been tight-lipped about his revolutionary youth but Bertie finds out about his early days as an IRA messenger boy, and his Civil War arrest and imprisonment in Cork City Gaol.

Con later spent time in Tintown Camp on The Curragh where he took part in a hunger strike that left a lasting impact.

Bertie also returns to his family farm in East Cork where the Aherns went from being lowly tenants on English gentry land after the Famine in the late 1800s to become part of a new generation of Catholic landowners at the beginning of the 20th century.

This particular story ends in tragedy.

On his mother's side, Bertie finds out about the notorious K Company branch of the Auxiliaries who attacked his mother's Cork home during the War of Independence and resulted in his mother's lifelong resentment of the 'The Brits'.

Also on his mother's side he finds out that he has relatives who ran a Workhouse in West Cork for more than 50 years and saw their son killed in an ambush during the Civil War while fighting for the new Free State Army.

Who Do You Think You Are? RTÉ One, Sunday, September 30th at 9.30pm

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