Tag Archives: Fishing

Journey’s End for Muintir na Mara

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Muintir na Mara Final episode Sunday 29th April 9:30 PM

Pádraig O Duinnín’s journey began in Cork six series ago. Tonight we see him complete his odyssey in Donegal. In this final episode Pádraig goes to Downings Micheál Ó Dochartaigh st the seaside village currach club.  He takes danger in his stride as he rows in his Naomhóg around the notoriously windy Malin Head.

He ends his journey with a well deserved rest at the Culmore regatta on the Derry border. The series was funded by RTE for TG4 and although it was regularly in the top ten rating, the cut backs in RTE meant it had to leave the airwaves. Loopline Film would like to thank all those who watched and in particular we hope that Pádraig will find a new vehicle that will bring him back to our screens in the future. Thank you Pádraig for bringing us on an unforgettable journey.

Muintir na Mara Donegal

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Muintir Currach

Muintir na Mara Sunday 9:30 TG4


In this final series Pádraig Ó Duinnín, a boat builder from Cork. travels by boat, bicycle and van around the stunning coast of Donegal.

This week Pádraig watches the All Ireland semi final in Leitir Mac an Bhaird. travels by boat to Inis Caorach and Arann Mór and finishes this leg of his journey in Bunbeg.

The start of the programme sees Pádraig  arrive into Leitir Mac an Bhaird just as the All Ireland football semi-final between Dublin and Donegal is about to kick off. He finds the community gathered in the local pub, from kids to granddads, cheering on the county team. He meets with Sarah Ní Lochlainn and Thomas Monds and finds out about what it is that makes this part of the world a special place for them.

After the disappointing defeat at the hands of the Dublon team, Pádraig rows out to Inis Caorach with Hugh Gallagher. Hugh was born in Inis Caorach, which is now deserted. There are 4 restored houses on the island now; his son is building one of them. The island was deserted between 1949 and 1952. There was an old pier there that was washed away, heavy emigration, and the lack of men to man the boats led to the island being deserted. There was a new pier built 4 years ago, so it’s much more accessible now. Hugh is a boat builder also and built a 28ft wooden boat which is in his yard, He tells Pádraig stories about the island and its history and people.

Then it’s onto Arann Mór with Pádraig to meet up with RNLI volunteer Nora Flannagan. Nora is full of life, great fun and craic in her. She works in the Health Care Centre on Arann Mór,. She is the first women crew member in the 127 years of the RNLI on Aranmore. The RNLI was established on Aranmore in 1883 with moneys donated by Rev. Vendalure of Merrion Sq Dublin. This first lifeboat was named in his honor. It was a rowing and sailboat. They have a Severn lifeboat now, named Myrtle Maud. There are 21 crew, 2 fulltime and 19 volunteers. Nora shows Pádraig around the lifeboat station and he gets to see a training exercise with the lifeboat and helicopter in action.

Pádraig arrives into Bunbeg to complete this leg of his journey and meets with master boat builder Jim Boyd and artist, writer and boat builder, Donal Mac Polin who has a wealth of knowledge about curraghs in Donegal and has written extensively about them. Jim has built many boats over the years and out in his shed at the back of his house, he shows Pádraig around and tells him stories of the boats and the journeys he has taken in them.








Farewell to Muintir na Mara

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Muin oysters

YouTube Preview ImageFarewell MUINTIR NA MARA


On Sunday 25th March at 9.30pm, the sixth and final series of Muintir na Mara, made by Loopline Film, will return to our screens on TG4. The series, directed by Martina Durac and produced by Vanessa Gildea, is presented by Pádraig Ó Duinnín, who continues on his voyage around the coast of Ireland over land and sea, in a currach, on a bicycle and in a van – this time traversing  the majestic coastline of Donegal.

The soaring cliffs, beautiful beaches and wind-beaten islands provide a rich trail for Pádraig, a natural adventurer and boat-builder in his own right, as he makes his way from Bundoran on the south coast of Donegal to the most northern part of Ireland – Malin Head and finally on to Moville and Culmore on the border with Derry. Along the way he stops off at the harbours, quays, ports, towns and meets with the local people, Muintir na Mara.

Padraig shows a natural empathy towards the people he encounters, being in awe of the sea himself and hugely interested in the people who live by it in all seasons. Whether conversing with fishermen, weavers, musicians, boat-builders, experts or novices, he has a natural flair for putting people at ease and a mischievous sense of humour. Pádraig has been involved in traditional boat building for over thirty years and has been instrumental in the preservation of the craft in Ireland. In 1994 he founded Meitheal Mara, a co-operative which builds and repairs traditional boats, located in the heart of Cork city.

Muintir na Mara is both a personal and spiritual voyage for him and he encounters many remarkable characters over the six programmes. He meets Easkey Britton, one of Ireland’s renowned pro surfers whose name hails from the sea as she competes in the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran. Local man Caoimhín Mac Aoidh regales him with folklore tales at  Tobar na Barchaile in Ballyshannon and the family of famous fiddler James Byrne start up a lively ‘seisiúin ceoil’ in Roarty’s pub Glencolmcille. Pádraig also meets Nora Flanagan, the first woman crew member in the 127 years of the RNLI on Arann Mór and watches a training exercise with Sligo helicopter Search and Rescue team. He tastes freshwater oysters on one of Donegal’s most prominent oyster farms, learns the skill and history of weaving at the Woollen Mills in Killybegs and rows around the majestic and mysterious Sliabh League cliffs. In keeping with the series, Pádraig visits the some of the enchanting Donegal islands meeting locals on Inis Caorach, Inisboffin and Tory Island.

It wouldn’t be a successful journey to Donegal for boat building aficionado Pádraig without a few encounters of the currach kind! Pádraig meets with well-known boat builders Jim Boyd and Donal Mac Polin to discuss the differences in the many Donegal currachs. He goes out rowing with members of the new community-made Currach Club in Downings, takes part in currach races with the many Donegal currach clubs in Magheroarty and rows into the Culmore sailing regatta. During this epic journey along the coast Pádraig also comes head to head with the contentious issues facing Ireland’s coastal towns these days, such as over-regulation of the fishing industry, the impact of multinationals on communities and the natural environment and the demise of the fishing community and traditions.

Pádraig Ó Duinnín is a man of the sea and his character is the driving force behind this series; his love and respect for the sea and sea-faring traditions shine through as he traverses this magnificent stretch of the Irish coast.

Muintir na Mara Donegal

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Muintir na Mara is now in its sixth season. Master boat builder Pádraig Ó Duinnín has taken us on epic journeys along the coastlines of Cork, Kery, Clare, Galway, Mayo and Sligo. Director Martina Durac and Producer Vanessa Gildea have started filming our new series of Muintir na Mara and spent the last few days in Donegal meeting some great people who live their lives by the sea. We arrived into Bundoran in time to see surfers heading out into the wild Atlantic and spent the next day filming there, finding out how this town became the biggest tourist destination in the Northwest, complete with the sea, the waves and the inevitable amusement arcades! From there, we moved on to Ballyshannon and Tobar na Barchaile and Pádraig rowed in to meet meet Caoimhín Mac Aoidh who told him tales of the local fishermen from long ago and how they fought to protect their right to fish. In Smuggler’s Creek  overlooking the amazing sight of Rossnowlagh beach, Molly Reynolds, who was one one of the first female skippers in Ireland, told us how the local community of Creevy and beyond banded together to secure their future, setting up lots of local, environmentally friendly  schemes and building a beautiful collection of cottages to encourage visitors to stay. The next day, Pádraig went out in Donncha O Laighin’s boat, fishing and chatting about boat building around the spectacular Slieve League cliffs. Afterwards he moved on to Donegal Bay in the afternoon to meet Conor Reid and see his oyster farm. A great start to the filming. We go back up to Donegal tomorrow to join the sailing Regatta in Moville and much more…