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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 19 August, 2019

Emma Willis went on 'Who Do You Think You Are?' and found out a violent relative tortured Irish men

“That was exactly what I didn’t want to find out.”

Emma Willis Source: BBC/Wall to Wall/Stephen Perry

BIG BROTHER AND The Voice UK presenter Emma Willis was left in shock during her episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

On the TV show which allows celebrities trace their ancestry, Willis discovered that her five-times-great great grandfather Richard Fowler Sr. tortured an Irish father and son in a sectarian attack.

Along with two others, her ancestor Richard Fowler Sr. stabbed a blacksmith and his son with a bayonet and proceeded to torture them.

Emma Willis Emma Willis with her grandparents and mother. Source: BBC/Wall to Wall/Steve and Cathy Griffiths

Fowler and his associates were suspicious that the blacksmith was making weapons to assist the United Irishmen, who were seeking an independent Ireland.

Emma Willis was not impressed with the discovery and had to hold back tears. “That’s horrific. How can you defend doing that to somebody?” She then added “I’m speechless, if I’m honest.”


She said that she felt sick after reading the report that detailed the desperate attack, in which they were only spared after a local man heard screaming and rescued the victims.

Willis commented “That was exactly what I didn’t want to find out.”

Maybe sometimes you’re better off not knowing about your family’s history.

The episode will be aired on August 3rd at 9pm on BBC One.


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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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