Lesser Spotted Ulster set to focus on Muckish

Lesser Spotted Ulster set to focus on Muckish
One of UTV’s longest running shows, the popular Lesser Spotted Ulster, will feature a new show tomorrow (Friday) focusing on life in and around Muckish mountain.

One of UTV’s longest running shows, the popular Lesser Spotted Ulster, will feature a new show tomorrow (Friday) focusing on life in and around Muckish mountain.

Presenter Joe Mahon and his team spent a number of days filming in the Creeslough area to capture the fascinating history of Muckish and the people who lived and worked in the area over many years.

The UTV show has been running for over 16 years and has featured many stories and place across Donegal but this is the first time they focus on the iconic mountain.

Joe was the former producer of “McGilloway’s Way” before stepping in front of the camera.

On his trip to Creeslough he certainly got to see some of the lesser explored beauty spots of the locality and met a host of local people who chatted with him about the diverse history of the area.

He met with local business man and hill walker Manus McFadden who showed him the amazing discovery of old broken millstone, which have posed a local mystery since they were located.

Joe also learned about the urban myth involving St Colmcille and the millstone but reveals that the more rational explanation can be attributed to local men who climbed Muckish Mountain every day to quarry silica in the 1940s.

The presenter also learns more about the major quarrying industry which centred on Muckish during the Second World War when the mountain’s most valuable asset was exploited.

However, he also discovers, the dangerous conditions the workers faced often made it difficult to acquire the coveted resource.

Despite the fact electricity was virtually non-existent until 1969; life in the townlands around Muckish was an overall positive experience.

While Joe is regaled with tales of happy memories among the practically self-sufficient community, he is taught how to light a goose-necked Tilly lamp which was used during the long winter nights.

A trip to Creeslough would not be complete without experiencing one skill that made the area famous when he is also taught the art of cutting corn with a scythe at an annual event made famous by a Percy French song, before being rewarded for his efforts with some scone bread made over an open hearth.

Lesser Spotted Ulster is on Friday 8 August at 8pm on UTV.

Viewers can join in the conversation by tweeting along with ‘@utv’ during the show using the hashtag #LesserSpotted.

A second show focusing on the Ards area of Creeslough is also scheduled to be aired as part of the current series of Lesser Spotted Ulster.

It will look at life in and around the Friary, old Ards estate, the famed forest park and across the bay will look at Doe castle and its interesting history and much more.

This scheduled to be show on UTV on September 19.

In the first programme, Joe visited Malin Head, where the stunning scenery offered breath-taking landscapes for visiting tourists and looked at how such an easily visible spot has proved crucial for both tactical and communications purposes over the centuries.