The programme, presented by Mary Kennedy will focus on Raphoe as a microcosm of the effect the War had on towns, villages and parishes in Donegal and across Ireland.
A total of 42 men, Catholic and Protestant from this one small town alone never returned home. For those who did survive life was extremely difficult , many had been seriously injured and unable to work again others shell shocked while those from a Catholic background were shunned within their own community.
Families mourned relatives in silence behind closed doors. In the programme Raphoe twins, Etta and Gertie Logan recall their mother telling them about the trees in the Diamond in Raphoe planted in memory of their two uncles.
Curator at Donegal County Museum Judith McCarthy talks about the great resource available in the county in the Donegal Book of Honour. “It lists all the soldiers from this county who died, parish by parish and their family background which is invaluable to our research of WW1.
Journalist Mary Harte made a discovery of her own while making the programme after an appeal on Highland Radio for a picture of a Donegal soldier. The picture of 21 year old Henry Taylor from Lifford, had hung in a cottage belonging to Henry’s brother.
It was a conversation about that picture that lead former TD Paddy Harte to the Commonwealth War Graves in 1996 that resulted in the Island of Ireland Peace Park at Messines in Flanders.
“I found the derelict cottage and was told by a neigbhour that all the contents had been removed by a niece after it was sold. My appeal on Highland led me to Belfast and the niece of Henry Taylor.
She had a box in the attic with the picture and all his letters home from the front , his medals, uniform buttons and sadly the certificate of this death in France two months before the war ended. The annual Remembrance Service at Dunree Fort also features in the programme.
In Derry, reporter Helen Mark hears the stories of those from the Protestant Fountain Estate and from the nationalist Bogside who died in the Great War . She meets those who have been working towards a cross community Remembrance Service at the War Memorial in the Diamond.
RTE 1 Nationwide 7.00pm Monday 10th November.