Our ancestors never looked back. It’s time we did.
From a small farm high in the hills northeast of Lahinch, County Clare, 19-year-old Anne Davoren left home and country in 1887. It was a time of drought, land wars and evictions in the west of Ireland. Anne and her sister Mary made a 3700-mile journey to Minnesota, U.S.A. Like thousands of Irish women and men, they came to build a new life, and to send money home so that their family could stay on the land.
Two generations later, Anne’s story had been forgotten. Determined to fill in the blank pages of her family history, Anne’s granddaughter set out to find the place and people Anne left behind. The place is the Burren, a region of harsh beauty, bright hued wildflowers and ancient stone forts in north Clare. The people are the O’Davorens, hereditary judges, keepers of Irish Brehon law and a presence in the Burren for 1,200 years.
The documentary film, burren girl, uncovers the distant past through the vibrant, present-day community of the Burren. It is not the Ireland of gravestones and faded records that this film offers, but the thrill that comes with reknitting centuries-old Irish connections among the living. In May of 2015, descendants of both the emigrant Davorens and those who stayed in Ireland met at a stone fort that their ancestors inhabited in Medieval times.
Please join us. We’ll walk the lanes, climb the hills, drink tea in front of the fire.
We’ll find the Burren, past and present. It’s a journey home.
Lead Artist: Rita Davern