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Three Families: the true story behind the show 

The hard-hitting drama looks at the issue of abortion in Northern Ireland 

Emmy Griffiths

Three Families is a new drama based in Northern Ireland, which looks at the different experiences of three pregnant women in regards to the law concerning abortion. But are the three women and their families real? Find out here... 

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The show's writer, Gwyneth Hughes, has spoken at length about how the stories are indeed based on real people, whose names were changed for their protection. 

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WATCH: Three Families trailer

She went on to describe each of the main characters in real life, saying: "The real 'Hannah' is a spirited, funny, vivid young married woman from a small town; I loved her positive attitude and the joy she managed to retrieve from her terrible ordeal. 

"The real 'Rosie' is a warm, beautiful, elegant older woman, who thought the chance of a baby had passed her by, and whose mental and physical suffering was extreme.

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The names of the women were changed

"The real 'Theresa' chose her daughter over the traditions of her faith, and had to find reserves of courage and endurance which almost broke her. I tell their family stories as closely as I can to the accounts they gave me, and want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their welcome and honesty." 

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Gwyneth went on to explain how she used artistic licence to intertwine the stories, as the three women had never met in real life. She said: "My problem was that none of these three women have ever met. They were all on the same journey, in some ways; yet their lives are completely separate. 

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"They don’t live in the same towns, they don’t share the same interests. They simply don’t know each other. I had to scratch my head very hard to find ways to weave their stories together, and keep them moving forwards through a beginning, a middle and an end." 

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