Documentary on One

Thomas and Tess

Tess Murray never forgot her first love. She was engaged to Thomas McEver during the Irish War of Independence, but their lives changed when he was abducted, brutally murdered and accused of being a spy. (2019)

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3.7/5 (98 ratings)

Documentary Maker; Geoff Power

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Documentary maker: Tim Desmond

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Thomas and Tess

The early 1920s in Ireland was a time gripped by violence and uncertainty. The War of Independence witnessed some of the worst acts of savagery this land has ever seen, but by May of 1921, the conflict with Britain was drawing to a close.

Thomas And Tess focuses on one horrific violent incident on May 20th,1921 In Dunmore County Galway, a town close to the Mayo and Roscommon borders. A pharmacist was abducted from his lodgings in the middle of the night. It was reported the following morning that his body had been found with a sign attached, declaring him to be a spy, shot by the IRA. But the death of Thomas McEver left the people of Dunmore bewildered and horrified and what happened after he was killed remains in dispute. And for one person in particular, Thomas’ fiancé, the trauma of his death left a deep and surreal scar.

Tess Murray never fully recovered from that brutal night. Although she subsequently married and had a happy and full life – Tess gave birth to eight children – her love for Thomas remained strong. Eternal. And mystical.

At a critical time in Ireland’s history, weeks before the clouds of war briefly cleared, this tragic story helps to cast a light on the troubles of that turbulent era.

Thomas & Tess is a story of love and of loss. And here to tell it are two of Tess’ surviving children, who speak of the enduring impact Thomas’ death has had on their family. Others to contribute to this remarkable tale include a man born in 1916 who was five years old when his relative was killed. From a night of unimaginable horror comes a love story that is pure and enchanting.

Produced by Geoff Power & Tim Desmond.

Readings by Elliot Moriarty.

RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 27th July, 2019 @1pm

RTÉ Radio 1 Sunday 28st July, 2019 @7pm

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

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