Tuesday 2nd November, 7.00pm ar RTÉ ONE

Mary Kennedy continues her journey on the National Famine Way. Along the banks of the Royal Canal there are hidden treasures and history, stories and musical performances as we travel through Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, and into the capital..

Mary Kennedy takes us on an emotional journey along Ireland's Camino. An tSlí is a two-part series incorporating history, geography, music and dramatic reconstructions as we learn the story of the National Famine Way.

"It could have been any of us. I strongly felt it would have been an act of vandalism to destroy this place." – Jim Callery

Next year is the 175th anniversary of Black '47. The history of the National Famine Way is at the very core of that terrible year. The route follows the trail of 1490 people from the Strokestown House Estate in Roscommon who were walked to Dublin by their landlord’s bailiff and put on ships to Québec. Mary Kennedy takes us on a journey along the 165km from Roscommon to Dublin, in the footsteps of the tenants of Strokestown estate. Along the banks of the Royal Canal there are hidden treasures and history, stories and musical performances as we travel through Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, and into the capital.

· Tom Sullivan whose film, Arracht, focusses on one individual’s plight during the famine. It was the Irish entry for Best International Feature Film for the 93rd Oscars.

· UCD Sports Historian, Paul Rouse, who tells us the story of the 1947 All-Ireland final in New York, the only commemoration of the 100-year anniversary of Black ‘47

· Niamh Farrell finds the time to tour and perform with David Gray while also working as an A & E nurse in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. She performs The Pogues ‘Thousands are Sailing’ in memory of all Irish emigrants.

· We meet the lock-keeper whose family have been there since before the famine and a couple living in one of the beautiful cottages under the shadow of O’Connell’s monument on the banks of the Royal Canal.

Mary has come across many stories over her years travelling around the country. Since she first visited Strokestown House she has longed to look deeper into this fascinating story, a story that is at the very heart of who we are.

Overview:

That famine plea, found by Jim Callery, was one of many sent to the landlord of Strokestown House, Major Denis Mahon, in 1846. The people who signed their names to the Cloonahee Petition were from the townland where Jim was born and still lives. These people were starving and their cries for help were joined by many of the nearly 12000 tenants living on 11000 acres on the Strokestown estate. Major Mahon in a desperate measure arranged an assisted migration scheme. The beginnings of it had 1490 tenants agreeing to leave with a bailiff who walked them the 165km to Dublin. From there they travelled to Liverpool, and the final leg of the journey had them sent to Québec on what became known as coffin ships. A third of them died in transit. When word got back to Strokestown, Major Denis Mahon became the first landlord killed during the famine.

Anocht, 2 Samhain ar 7pm ar RTÉ ONE