Hundreds turned out to welcome RTE presenter Ryan Tubridy when he arrived in Buncrana yesterday to kick off his Wild Atlantic Way tour.
The ‘Late Late Show’ host arrived in Inishowen on Sunday and was taken to Malin Head before going fishing from Bunagee Pier in Culdaff.
The visit by Tubridy and his ‘Tubs On Tour’ crew honoured a pledge he made in the wake of the Buncrana Pier tragedy to broadcast live from the town.
And Ryan, who arrived in a new special Wild Atlantic Way double decker bus, revealed that he had local roots in Derry himself through his mother Catherine’s side of the family.
Many local groups turned out for the event, with Ryan stating that he had a brilliant time during his stop over.
Addressing the crowds at the colourfully decorated Market Square in the centre of Buncrana at the end of the broadcast, he said: “Thanks for the welcome we have got from you all here in Buncrana.
“Thanks for making us feel really special and happy and welcome. This starts our tour around the country, so look after yourselves, have a super summer.”
Among those interviewed by Ryan on air were Glenfin weather soothsayer Michael Gallagher and Visit Inishowen manager, Angela Byrne.
Interviews from representatives of local businesses, including the Lily Rose Cafe in Buncrana and the Famine Village at the Isle of Doagh, were also broadcast live to the nation.
Pat Doherty, who runs the Famine Village, said afterwards that it was great to see the roadshow rolling into town.
“We’re trying to bring more people into the area and give them activities. Areas like Inishowen are remote and it’s important to give people a reason to come here,” Mr Doherty said.
Glengad Fianna Fail Councillor Martin McDermott meanwhile added: “It’s great here today and we had a great day yesterday with him as well, out in Malin Head and out fishing from Bunagee. We got to showcase Inishowen and that’s what it’s about, showcasing Buncrana, Malin Head, Inishowen nationally.
“It was his first time up here and he was very, very impressed and he said he will be back again.
“We caught a lot of fish. He even caught some himself. He did very well. He caught a dog fish, and we got some cod, some pollock, and some mackerel. He also got to see the basking sharks.”
Ms Byrne from Visit Inishowen said: “It is absolutely brilliant here today. The people of the area, from local schools to creative groups, to the local tourists businesses come out in force to give Ryan and his crew a great big welcome and to show the country what we have to offer.
“Now we are hoping some of Ryan’s listeners might come up and experience the same for themselves.”
She added that among those who helped make the visit so special were Junk Couture and Feel Good Fortnight, as well as Studio 47 and children and staff from local schools, along with the wider community.