This weeks episode of Muintir na Mara sees Pádraig Ó’ Duinnn continue his journey of the Galway coast. RTE 28th July 10:30 am. Pádraig visits Brian Ó Carra who shows him the traces of the recently discovered ‘drowned bog’ on the beach in Bearna. Brian shows Pádraig where they discovered evidence of fresh water lakes and bog under the sand. Most exciting was the day they dug up an ancient canoe. Padraig then travels to what was an abandoned 17th century village near Spiddal that has been transformed into a cultural retreat by Dearbhaill Standún and her husband Charlie Troy. Concsuain has won an intetrnational award for its uniqueness in fostering traditional Conamara traditions. We later meet Jim Horgan who set up Bádóirí Lurgan who as well as running the community boatclub also teach the art of the shipwright to young people. Members learn how to sail and how to build their own boats. Padraig finishes this episode when he travels to Lochan Beag to meet Noel Ó Tuairisc who spent his life on large fishing vessels but now has a veritable museum and one of the most interesting collection of sea shells you will ever see.
Tag Archives: RTÉ
get another chance to see Muintir na Mara. The RTE
run begins in Galway where Pådraig O Dunnin
visits a Banjo maker in Clarinbridge, the King
of the Claddagh, and is given a tour of the Celtic
Explorer that reveals great stories about our coral seabeds.
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.
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.