Silent Witness star Liz Carr recently appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? where she discovered a family ancestor was involved in an attempted murder.

Actor and international disability rights activist Liz, who plays Clarissa Mullery, travels to Northern Ireland to research her late father Peter’s side of the family in the BBC show.

She learns her ancestor, tenant farmer Barney Ryan, was implicated in a plot to kill wealthy landowner Meredith Chambre.

In December 1851, Chambre received a death threat.

And in January 1852, as Chambre arrived home, men jumped out and shots were fired, hitting his head.

Silent Witness star Liz Carr discovers she has a family ancestor who was linked to attempted murder

He survived, but a man called Francis Berry was executed for the crime.

In a letter written before his death, Berry puts Barney at the centre of the plot, a leader of tenant farmers fighting for their rights.

Liz told the Mirror said she was “proud” of Barney’s campaigning.

She finds out on BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?
Liz Carr's maternal grandfather John Joseph Hughes

She said: “This person was about changing the living conditions for a whole group of people.”

"I strongly believe that if you can do something, use your voice and what you have to change things for the better, then you should. That’s what they did. The fact that somebody dies as a consequence of, by all accounts, Barney Ryan’s actions, isn’t something that I would celebrate or condone - that’s different.

Liz's mother Pat Carr

"I guess he was like a vigilante who was pursuing justice for himself and the other tenant farmers.

"People still know his name in the village where he grew up.

"I hope in 150 years someone will still be remembering and talking about things that I’ve done! I guess that’s what we all want. We all want a legacy."

* Who Do You Think You Are? with Liz Carr, November 2, 9pm, BBC1.

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