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'Muintir na Mara' Returns to TG4 for Final Series
22 Mar 2012 : By Steve Cummins
Filming ‘Muintir na Mara’
Travel programme ‘Muintir na Mara’ returns to TG4 for its sixth and final series this Sunday night (March 25). The six-part series is once again made by Dublin-based Loopline Film and is directed by Martina Durac (Faith). Vanessa Gildea is the producer.

The final series will see presenter and Cork-man Pádraig Ó Duinnín continue on his voyage around the coast of Ireland, over land and sea, with the focus for this series on the Donegal coastline.

Producer Vanessa Gildea added: “It is the last and final series and features the beautiful and extraordinary scenery and coastline of Donegal. It was special in a way in that we’ve worked our way right up the coastline.

‘Muintir na Mara’ has been running on TG4 for five years, beginning in Cork and covering Kerry, Galway, Clare and Sligo/ Mayo before ending with Donegal.

Director Martina Durac, who helmed all six series, spoke to IFTN about her experiences over the five years, paying particular tribute to presenter Pádraig Ó Duinnín.

Martina said: “Well, the show couldn’t have really happened without Padraig, who truly is a man of the sea. The stories that he got from people and the local people that he met, and the way that he engaged with people, were what really made the series a success over the five years. Padraig has a deep love, and a deep respect, for the fishermen, boat builders and coastal workers that he met and his personality, very unfussy, very genuine, and very real, was a big part of the success.

Noting the challenges faced by the crew of filming at sea, she added that it was “amazing and a joy to be out in places like Skeilig Mhíchil, Loophead and the Cliffs of Moher, capturing Padraig in his currach and to see him as a man so deeply connected to the sea.

She added that capturing on camera some of the many sea-faring traditions of Irish coastal natives was of particular significance for her. She said: “Over the five years it came home time and time again that this is a country that is changing, that these coastal towns and villages are changing and that some of these great customs and traditions could be gone in 10 or 15 years.

In the new series, viewers will see adventurer Pádraig make his way from Bundoran on the south coast of Donegal right up to the Inishowen peninsula as he stops off in harbours and quays around Malin Head, Moville and Culmore to meet with local fishermen, weavers, musicians and boat-builders.

Among the characters he meets are Easkey Britton, one of Ireland’s renowned pro surfers as she competes in the European Surfing Championships in Bundoran. Pádraig also meets Nora Flanagan, the first woman crew member in the 127 years of the RNLI on Arann Mór and watches a training exercise with Sligo helicopter Search and Rescue team.

The sixth series of ‘Muintir na Mara’ will begin this Sunday (March 25) at 9.30pm on TG4.



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