Thursday, 7 May 2009

Muintir na Mara – Around the Clare Coast

Shannon EstuaryMuintir na Mara continues its journey around the coast of Clare on Friday 8th May. The popular TV programme returned to TG4 last week with a six-part series during which Pádraig Ó Duinnín continues his personal and spiritual voyage along the coast of Ireland taking his journey through Limerick and up the Clare coastline traveling by curragh, bicycle and van. Along the way he stops off at little harbours, quays, ports, towns and villages and meets with the local people of the sea, Muintir na Mara. This is the third series in his monumental journey and during the last two series Pádraig travelled up the Cork and Kerry coastlines. Last week’s programme featured Clare County Library’s own Dolores Meaney as she introduced Pádraig to Canon Island and Coney Island in the Shannon estuary. Pádraig encounters many remarkable characters over the six programmes, such as Brendan Garvey a retired lighthouse keeper who revisits his old base at Loophead, Aideen O’ Mahony from Doonbeg who recounts the night her grandfather saved a WW2 fighter pilot from death, Patrick Mullins who tells Pádraig about the struggle as life as a fisherman in today’s Ireland and Kitty Shannon in Doolin, a lovely old lady who recounts stories of when the fishermen from Inis Oirr used to come over from the island to sell potatoes and slept in her house when the weather was too rough to go back. All of these stories are part of a coastal tradition, some of which is being lost forever as fishing communities are decimated by changes to their livelihoods.

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