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Irish & Welsh Coastlines Explored in New TG4 Series

4th January 2022
“Iontas na bhFarraigí Ceilteachta” is a three-part series presented by Eoin Warner which will be broadcast on TG4 from January 12th.
“Iontas na bhFarraigí Ceilteachta” is a three-part series presented by Eoin Warner which will be broadcast on TG4 from January 12th.

The courtship rituals of bottle-nosed dolphins, basking sharks congregating off the Irish coast and the sex-shifting cuckoo wrasse are documented in a new wildlife series on the Celtic coasts.

“Iontas na bhFarraigí Ceilteachta” is a three-part series presented by Eoin Warner which will be broadcast on TG4 from January 12th.

The series filmed over two years in ultra high definition by some of the filmmakers behind natural history series Blue Planet, according to TG4.

The team took “a corner of these islands which has never previously been explored in such sumptuous detail – Ireland’s sunny southeast and the Welsh coast”, it says.

Footage of blue sharks, basking sharks and fin whales is included, along with guillemots – the seabirds that can “fly” underwater - and the blenny fish which can breathe on land.

“Getting close to nature – especially given recent lockdown events- provides such a great escape for the soul,” director Paddy Hayes said.

Eoin Warner goes kayaking in Iontas na bhFarraigí CeilteachtaEoin Warner goes kayaking in Iontas na bhFarraigí Ceilteachta

“ The Iontais na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha team captured some really breath-taking footage of our undiscovered coasts and some eye-opening behaviour of our best-known marine animals’ – and it is such a joy to know that all this occurs just off our shores,” he said.

The three episodes of Iontais na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha are divided into three habitats - the shores, the shallows and the deep.

Warner explores the marine animals that inhabit the coastlines of Ireland and Wales who need to adapt to this rapidly changing environment in the first part, on the shores, and he goes kayaking off Waterford’s copper coast.

In part two, Warner goes skindiving in the shallow seas where he explores “the seabed bursting with life”, including filming a female catshark as she lays an egg or “mermaid's purse’” deep in the kelp forest floor.

 

Lady's Island Lake in County Wexford, where Arctic terns have arrived to breed, is also captured in this episode. Arctic terns spend the summer fishing in these shallow waters to feed their young, and then embark on the longest migration of any living thing on Earth.

The final episode, on the deep, explores animals from the giant fin whale to the tiny microplankton that is responsible for 50% of the air that we humans breathe.

“In this episode, we encounter a bait ball – many different species co-operating in a deep-water feeding frenzy,” the team says.

“ We first encounter a group of fin whales - at twenty-five meters long, these majestic submarine-shaped creatures are the planet’s second-largest animals. Joining them to hunt sardines are two-meter-long blue-finned tuna,” they explain, and common dolphins enter the “feeding fray”.

“ Fast-moving, super-intelligent marine mammals, they drive the hapless fish together and push them towards the surface, where they are easily picked off by diving gannets. Spectacular footage shot from above and below the water captures the freneticism of this extraordinary wildlife phenomenon,” they state.

Iontais Na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha is an Irish/Welsh BBC/TG4 co-production by Tua Films & One Tribe TV.

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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