A long-standing Clonmany tradition - the Tug O’ War - is to feature in BBC Gaeilge’s new four-part Irish language series ‘Croí Uladh le John Toal’
The series, produced by Big Mountain Productions, with support from NI Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund, starts on BBC Two on Monday, September 2 at 10 p.m.
Over the four weeks, the award-winning BBC Radio Ulster presenter and musician meets a range of engaging and exceptional people across the province – from Carlingford Lough to the hills of Inishowen in County Donegal.
John tries out some activities he hasn’t attempted before – including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, winning a medal in a Tug O’ War competition, building and rowing a currach and trying his hand at knitting.
He says: “I hate being stuck in an office and am happiest when I’m out on the road. These were all great experiences. The atmosphere in the hall in Clonmany at the Tug o’War competition was like Madison Square Gardens, the sense of calm being out in a currach on Carlingford Lough, and walking the streets of Belfast dressed as a superhero was something you’d only ever do once. Thank goodness none of my family were in town that day.”
During the series, John travels the highways and byways of Ulster, getting better acquainted with the people and uncovering their stories that make them true Ulster natives. He talks to a biker priest and joins hundreds of motorcyclists in the congregation for the annual Biker Mass in Clones, County Monaghan. He tries a spot of weightlifting with a European Champion in Derry and meets the people looking after the bees of Ballymurphy in Belfast