Malin Head to feature on new Lesser Spotted Ulster series

Joe Mahon of Lesser Spotted Ulster chats to Kevin Lake about building a pathway around Malin Head.
Joe Mahon of Lesser Spotted Ulster chats to Kevin Lake about building a pathway around Malin Head.

The new series of Lesser Spotted Ulster is to return next week with a programme focusing on Malin Head.

Derry man Joe Mahon returns will present 20 Lesser Spotted Ulster TV programmes, which will begin next Friday, July 11th at 8pm on UTV. The series will run until November.

In the first programme, Joe visits Malin Head in County Donegal. The stunning scenery offers breath-taking landscapes for visiting tourists and such an easily visible spot has proved crucial for both tactical and communications purposes over the centuries.

Joe discovers historic links with World War II when Allied pilots would use the beaches of Malin Head as map-reference points. This has been a vital spot for shipping communications down through the centuries, as evidenced by the Ballyhillin signalling tower built during the Napoleonic wars.

Joe is on the hunt for signals from transmitters implanted in some of the numerous basking shark populations in these waters by a team of experts anxious to conserve and study these endangered creatures.

Joe also chats to one of the builders engaged in the heart-stopping task of building a pathway around the cliffs at Malin Head, which has been designed to make it safer for the public to take in the sights and catch a glimpse of the basking sharks.

The path isn’t the only thing being constructed in this area as Joe meets a group of people who have come together to learn the long-forgotten skills of building a ‘drontheim’, the traditional fishing boat of the area which is based on a traditional Norwegian Viking design. Joe learns all about the origins of the boat and finds out why an English Premier League football team are so interested in the project.

Joe said: “The team and I are back on the road with renewed energy and undimmed enthusiasm and I can honestly say that this series feels as fresh and newly-minted as the very first series we did, when Vinny Cunningham, our cameraman, was in short trousers. After almost 18 years, maybe we’re just finally getting the hang of it?”

This series will see Joe discover a whole range of new fascinating stories, remarkable people and stunning vistas across the country, many of them from places that he had never set foot in before.

Michael Wilson, Managing Director, UTV Television said: “Lesser Spotted Ulster is UTV’s longest running series, now in its 15th series Joe has demonstrated time and time again that the various places he explores in his own unique way and the people he talks to continue to delight our audience. Lesser Spotted Ulster is one of our most watched regional programmes and I am delighted to see Joe and his team return on Friday nights for viewers.”