I’m delighted to say that our new series of Muintir na Mara is now running on TG4 – Friday nights at 7.30pm. Our intrepid boatman, Pádraig O Duinnín takes to the seas again and travels up the coast of Clare in his currach. When we were filming last summer we spent a lot of time on boats of all sizes, tracking Pádraig as he rowed around places like Loophead, the Cliffs of Moher and up towards Ballyvaughan.
It was amazing to see the coastline from the sea and not the other way around. And a real privilege to be invited into people’s houses to share their stories of a life lived so close to the sea and how it had affected them. For me, being back in the county where my father was from was a profound experience – I could feel his presence with me from time to time as I travelled the roads of Clare.
I remembered the way he took his sandals off and rolled his trousers up to go paddling in the water at Doolin – but never went so far as to actually swim in the water! I could feel the pride he had in his county and how at home he was there when we travelled back for holidays. It was his familiar ground. I was struck again by the friendliness of Clare people and their generosity to strangers. I was really thrilled to be able to make a series that might transmit even a little of the feelings that I have for this precious part of the country.