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Rescue Me
Where Was Your Family During the Famine?Monday 08 September 2008 9.30pm

About the show

The Famine of 1845-49 remains the greatest single disaster in Irish history. Disease, hunger and emigration all had a devastating effect, to the point where, within a single generation the population had almost halved. From the subsistence farmer to the city merchants and landed gentry nobody on the island was left unaffected. All this happened just a few generations ago, yet very little knowledge and experience of this most terrible of times was passed down the line.

In Where Was Your Family During the Famine, three well known individuals; broadcaster and financial advisor, Eddie Hobbs; model and business owner, Jasmine Guinness; and journalist, John Waters; all set out on a journey to trace their own family back to this seminal event. Aided by genealogical research our the three individuals discover what choices their ancestors might have made, or were forced to make, in order to keep starvation from the door and preserve the lives of themselves and their children so future generations could survive and live in the thriving and affluent Ireland we enjoy today.

Each individual begins their journey by learning more about the circumstances of their family by returning to the place they originated from. Eddie Hobbs travels south to Cork, John Waters west to Roscommon and then Jasmine Guinness, already familiar with the Guinness' story, travels to Belfast as she uncovers what was happening for her maternal line, The Caseys. Each individual journey brings twists, turns, shocks and revelations, as our three individuals come to face their family past and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors.

At the heart of this documentary is the monumental impact the Famine had on the lives of subsequent generations of Irish people. How will each featured celebrity feel when they uncover the truth - good or bad - about their Famine ancestors? In Where Was Your Family During The Famine, history, genealogy and discovery blend together creating a very personal telling of the famine story.

John Waters
John Waters
Eddie Hobbs
Eddie Hobbs
John Waters and Nicola Morris
John Waters and Nicola Morris
Jasmine Guinness with her mother Liz Casey
Jasmine Guinness with her mother Liz Casey