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Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Discuss the brand new series of Who Do You Think You Are? featuring the likes of Julie Walters, Brian Blessed and Billy Connolly

Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby Jon Bauckham » Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:51 pm

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow we get to see Brendan O'Carroll's episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC One at 9pm. Having just watched it at my desk, it's safe to say that it's a gripping and powerful piece of television, following Brendan as he investigates his grandfather's murder. A real whodunnit!

Of course, much like Mrs Brown's Boys it may end up having a 'Marmite' effect – you might love it or hate it! Whatever your opinion, please post your thoughts in the thread below.

Best wishes,
Jon
I've now left Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Please contact wdytyaeditorial@immediate.co.uk regarding any forum queries.
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby Tabithabenef » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:10 pm

One of the best episodes for ages & ages (I liked Brian Blessed's too)

Even if it stayed on the one person & was not very far back in time i loved it.

If we have to stick on one family member - let them all be like this.

It was full of interesting facts & it kept me gripped - i love a who done it

Just wish we could have seen justice done

Its something a lot of people grew up with but didn't understand the background of - I only knew
about the IRA in the later days - more history for me to gen up on - it all makes a lot more sense now.
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby mandyjanes » Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:38 pm

Although this was a fascinating programme I don't think it belonged as part of this series.

After all it was a 'Who Dunnit?' not a 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

So far the best episode of this series was Brian Blessed's!
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby ksouthall » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:11 pm

Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family.

Genealogy: a line of descent traced continuously from an ancestor.

This programme was really interesting and fits the scope of the series if you consider the above two definitions, because it described the structure of Brendan's family and relationships within it and also showed the line of descent between him and his grandfather.

More importantly, it told a story which needed to be told as the troubles in Ireland in the 1920s are not covered enough in England and the rest of the UK. It was interesting to see the IRA side of the story and hear about some of the sources that are available if you know where to look.

Furthermore, I think it exposed the futility of conflict and wars of any kind and reminded me of any essay I had to write in French for my A Level, entitled "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter."

It is also worth putting into context the life of Major Jocelyn Lee Hardy, the man believed to have killed Peter O'Carroll.

During the First World War, Hardy fought for King and Country briefly before spending several years as a prisoner of war. He repeatedly attempted several escapes before successfully making his way back to England where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and treated as a hero.

I am not condoning his behaviour during the Anglo-Irish War. However it is worth considering that the British Army taught him to fight and kill and he had suffered who knows what as a prisoner of war. He may have seen his role as an extension of what he was paid to do during WWI. Is killing an Irishman any more immoral than killing a German?

It is possible that he was a psychopath but it's more likely that he was a product of global events at the time. Although some would say justice was not served as no one paid the price for Peter O'Carroll's murder, many people on both sides "got away with murder" when the truce ended the war. However drawing a line under the conflict may well have been the best thing under the circumstances.
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby brunes08 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:45 pm

Although I found the programme interesting, I was concerned that much of the 'evidence' presented was hearsay and not substantiated. The result seemed to have been mapped out from the beginning. There were a lot of assumptions that were accepted as fact without proof - genealogists and historians know that proof is essential as also in law. For example, the reason for Peter Carroll's murder was accepted that he was not going to betray his sons, almost without question. Every 'witness' had said they heard nothing but had they too been intimidated? We shall never know. I'm not saying that the outcome might not have been the same but that the way in which the evidence was presented was exceedingly flawed. It was a very difficult time for all involved and bias is bound to enter into such issues.
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:01 pm

brunes08 wrote: ... The result seemed to have been mapped out from the beginning. ....

Well, given that the whole thing will have been researched through from the start, right through to its conclusion, to see if there was a story there, well before Brendan O'Carroll was brought on the scene, that seems obvious to me.

brunes08 wrote: ... There were a lot of assumptions that were accepted as fact without proof ...

Actually, I was quite impressed that Brendan was quite careful for much of the program (perhaps not at the end) to put in caveats along the lines of "if that's so..."

The thing that I'd like some reassurance over was - does Jocelyn Lee Hardy have any living descendants? If so, did they know what was going to be in the program or did these allegations suddenly appear in front of them or their friends and neighbours?
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby ColinB » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:39 pm

I found this a very gripping story which held my attention throughout. From what I've been reading some of the information 'discovered' was already in the public domain , including the details about
Hardy :

http://www.cairogang.com/escaped/hardy/hardy.html

Colin
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby ksouthall » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:51 pm

Hello Adrian,

I checked but could not confirm whether or not Jocelyn Lee Hardy had any living descendants. However it is possible his family, extended or otherwise, would have known of his actions in Ireland before the programme was shown as there seems to be quite a lot of information about him on the internet.

I found the following link which provides an insight into his life. If you scroll down the page to his obituary there is a letter to the paper (The Times?), there is a nice letter from his friend:-

http://www.cairogang.com/escaped/hardy/hardy.html

He comes across as very patriotic but with some questionable interrogation methods, which may or may not be considered war crimes nowadays. His actions in Ireland were a small, but not insignificant, part of his life, which need to be placed in context with the rest of his life.

We should also remember that members of both sides were absolved of their crimes when the truce was signed.

For information, here are some alleged figures from the Irish War of Independence (taken from Wikipedia so they may not be accurate):-

Strength

Irish Republican Army ~15,000

British Army ~20,000
Royal Irish Constabulary 9,700
Black and Tans 7,000
Auxiliary Division 1,400
Ulster Special Constabulary 4,000

Casualties and losses

Irish Republican Army ~550 dead

British ~714 dead, comprising:
-410 RIC dead
-261 British Army dead
-43 USC dead

~750 civilians dead

Total dead: 2,014

Katherine
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby ksouthall » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:03 pm

Colin, you beat me to posting the link, but I had started my post before you posted it - I didn't just ignore it.....
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Re: Brendan O'Carroll's episode

Postby ColinB » Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:14 pm

No problem !

Colin
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