Boy George (born George Alan O'Dowd; 14 June 1961) is an English singer, songwriter, DJ and fashion designer. He is the lead singer of the pop band Culture Club. At the height of the band's fame, during the 1980s, they recorded global hit songs such as "Karma Chameleon", "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" and "Time (Clock of the Heart)" and George is known for his soulful voice and androgynous appearance. He was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s to the early 1980s.

In the latest episode of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are? George travels to Ireland to discover more about his family history. He knows that his maternal grandmother was found wandering the streets of Dublin aged six and put in a children's home and wants to find out how she came to be in such a terrible situation. Also, George unearths his family ties to the republican movement.

His great-grandfather Richard Glynn fought for the British Army. His wife Molly had been married to his brother prior to their marriage and her daughter Annie married republican Thomas Bryan.

Thomas Bryan was executed at Dublin’s Mountjoy prison and buried alongside Kevin Barry - an IRA man who was hung for his role in the killing of three soldiers.

Prison records reveal that Thomas was arrested in 1917, three years before marrying Annie, for taking part in a drill of the Irish Volunteers, a precursor to the IRA.

Only a few months after marrying Annie, Thomas was arrested again during a raid in Drumcondra. This was during the Irish War of Independence. British officials had imposed martial law and being arrested had serious consequences for an IRA volunteer like Thomas Bryan.

Thomas Bryan, aged just 24, was arrested as he and a group of co-conspirators prepared to carry out an ambush in January 1921.

Their target was a truck filled with “Black and Tans” — the nickname for members of the Royal Irish Constabulary Special Reserve.

Thomas Bryan and five other IRA men were executed in 1921. They along with four others and Kevin Barry - who the family long thought they had ties to - were buried in unmarked graves within the prison walls.

They became known as the Forgotten Ten. In 2001, however, that changed when their bodies were exhumed and taken to Glasnevin Cemetery, where they were reburied with state honours.

As George uncovers the grim details of what really happened to his grandmother and his great uncle, he also delights in a new sense of his family being truly part of Irish history.

Who Do You Think You Are? airs on Wednesday 25th July on BBC One at 9pm (Except Wales, Wales HD)
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