A family from rural Collegeland on the County Armagh-Tyrone border are believed to be the oldest group of siblings in the world. The 14 siblings of the Donnelly family, whose ages add up to 1064 years, were the subject of a documentary film that recently aired on BBC One Northern Ireland's True North.
After the eldest sister Maureen’s 90th birthday party earlier last year, Austin Donnelly (70) calculated all the siblings’ ages — Sean (92), Maureen (91), Eileen (89), Peter (86), Mairead (85), Rose (84), Tony (82), Terry (80), Seamus (79), Brian (75), Kathleen (74), Colm (72) and Leo (70) — and realized it added up to a grant total of 1,117 (at the time.) He was determined to find out if they were the oldest group of siblings in the world.
When Austin sadly passed away earlier this year, his twin Leo took up the mantle to complete the family’s world record attempt, FarmingLife.com reports.
According to BBC One, the film "looks at what it means to grow older in today’s society as it follows the family as they attempt to get a world record."
True North: The World’s Oldest Family, was narrated by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon, a native of the same area, who presented a portrait of this large family from rural Northern Ireland, who, through their personal recollections and experiences of growing up through turbulent times, took viewers on a historical journey of the past century.