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An Cósta Thiar - New TG4 Series on West Coast Communities

10th January 2022
An Cósta Thiar - a new TG4 Maritime TV series
An Cósta Thiar - a new TG4 Maritime TV series

The "culture, challenges and benefits" of living on the Atlantic seaboard are explored in a new TG4 Maritime TV series broadcast from this week.

Áine Ní Bhreisleáin, presenter of Bladhaire on Raidió na Gaeltachta and co-presenter of Beo ar Éigean on RTÉ Radio 1, travels down the west coast, from Donegal to Kerry, for 'An Cósta Thiar' (The West Coast).

Communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through "new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats and vessels of all kinds and more are explored in the series.

She begins her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal, heading to na Rosa to learn about the historical importance of the sea from local historian Donnchadh Ó Baoill.

Áine Ní BhreisleáinÁine Ní Bhreisleáin

"While fishing with local fisherman Éamonn Mac Ruairí agus the renowned musician Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Áine investigates the constant battle between sustaining communities and conserving our seas, and finally discovers a gem, Owey Island with Aiden Ó Fearraigh, a young man who lives for the sea and water sports,"TG4 says.

She is on the island of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey, where she meets with the local RNLI lifeboat crew crew of the local RNLI, and she learns about a local tragedy and a history of emigration with a local historian, Hugh Mac Ruairí.

She also meets a young musical family, Fiona Nic Ghloinn and Jesse Smith, who have moved to the island and tries her hand at sailing.

In south Donegal for the third programme, she joins Iain Miller and Aodán Mac Fhionnlaioch to ascend on the majestic Sturall, and explores the local fishing industry . She goes horse riding with mother and daughter duo Sinéad and Ríona Ní Eochaidh to "explore how the sea brings energy and peace to people and animals".

On the fourth week, she is on Achill island, Co Mayo, with outdoor instructor Tomás Mac Lochlainn, and she is in Carna in Conamara for the fifth episode where she learns about the aquaculture industry in Ireland with local marine biologist Macdara Ó Cuaig.

The Galway coast is focus for the sixth episode, this time in Cois Fharraige, where Ní Bhreisleáin gathers seaweed with a local businessman Noel Lee. She interviews local historian Seán Ó Coidealbha, visits the Claddagh with local TD Catherine Connolly, learns how to steer a Galway hooker with Bádóirí an Chladaigh and goes kayaking with Olympian canoeist Éadaoin Ní Challaráin.

Cósta Clár 1 ÁIne ag dul amach go Oileán UaighCósta Clár 1 ÁIne ag dul amach go Oileán Uaigh

Inis Oírr is location for episode seven, while she is in west Kerry for episode eight where she goes rowing with local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin.

She also investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ . In the penultimate programme, Ní Bhreisleáin continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin.

Her journey concludes in Uíbh Ráthach in South Kerry, where she visits the Skelligs, goes snorkelling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, and explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe,

An Cósta Thiar is broadcast from Wednesday, January 12th, on TG4 at 8.30pm.

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

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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