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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

New TV series explores the story of Irish women emigrants to Australia during the 19th century

Filmed in Australia and Ireland, the programmes
set the colonial project in context.
I've only just come across this: Mná Díbeartha (Banished Women), a four-part documentary series in Irish and English currently being broadcast on TG4.

Through a mixture of interviews, re-enactment, presentation of documentary evidence and narration, the 50-minute episodes fuse history, genealogy and drama to reveal the stories of Irish women and their experiences in the strange and harsh new world of Colonial Australia between 1787 to 1853.

The women include those transported as punishment for crimes, the Orphan Girls sent from workhouses under the Earl Grey Scheme between 1848 and 1850, as well as 'free' colonists.

The characters of the programme – single, widowed and married women of various ages – come from a variety of counties in Ireland including counties Down, Limerick, Carlow, Tyrone, Roscommon, Clare, Dublin, Cork, Galway and Tipperary, allowing us to understand the local, as well as the general, social, political and economic conditions and the situation of women at different points in the transportation era. The experience of women who were already economic migrants to England are also included.

Two episodes have already been shown. They will remain available for viewing on the TG4 Player for at least another three weeks so there's plenty of time to catch up.

The third episode will screen tonight at 9:30pm, the fourth and last will be broadcast next Wednesday at 9:30pm. Again, they will be on the Player for several weeks.

As far as I'm aware, this series is free to view internationally on the TG4player.