Actor Martin Sheen has stated how proud he is after discovering his uncle Micheal Fieland was a leading figure in the IRA and stated he hoped he would have followed him if he was alive in Ireland at the time.
The actor also said he was delighted to discover that his mother’s brother from Tipperary had not taken part in the assassination of Michael Collins.
Sheen took part in the NBC series ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ which traces famous persons' roots, reports the Irish Independent.
He visited Kilmainham Jail in Dublin where his uncle was incarcerated and stated: "I'm enormously proud of him."
"I would like to hope that if I had been here in Ireland at the time, I would have followed him.
"And I would have been as committed as he was."
Fieland went on to fight for the IRA against the Free State in the Civil War.
"When I was in Ireland and discovering the involvement of my uncle in the Rising and the Civil War . . . I was afraid he might have been in on the plan to assassinate Mick Collins," he said.
But as it turned out he was in prison when Mick Collins was assassinated and I was deeply relieved."
"I have been involved in a lot of campaigns for peace and social justice and I had the same kind of commitment in those areas that he had here."
Sheen, whose real name is Ramon Estevez, was born to a Spanish father and Irish mother, Mary-Anne Fieland from Borrisokane in Co Tipperary.
She came to the U.S. during the War of Independence, fleeing the war Sheen believes for her own safety and may have been a volunteer also. She always talked about returning to Ireland but never did.
"And so it was a very, very satisfying moment for me to know that she, too, was involved."
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