It’s all about ‘Burns’ and dams in next episode of UTV’s Lough Foyle


JOE Mahon continues his travels around Lough Foyle and its hinterlands on Monday night (October 12) with a visit to the tributary streams that run in to the River Faughan, where he helps volunteers build a ‘leaky dam’.

He also drops in on New-townstewart’s very own Burn’s Night celebrations.

‘Lough Foyle’ is a television travelogue series featuring the history, natural environment and cultural heritage of the Foyle catchment area, with particular emphasis on Ulster-Scots elements of the hinterland.

Joe spent several months, both pre and post lockdown, exploring the unique watery environment of Lough Foyle, and this series is taking the viewer on a fabulous journey on one of the greatest river systems on the island of Ireland.

In Monday night’s episode Joe rejoins Lionel Knobbs from the Loughs Agency, whom we met in the opening episode. The Loughs Agency and the Woodland Trust are working in partnership to help slow down the flow of the tributary streams of the River Faughan, in an area notorious for flooding.

Joe joins Lionel and Bronagh Gallagher from the Woodland Trust, and along with a team of volunteers sets about building ‘leaky dams’, involving placing logs across the stream to help stem the flow, and push silt to the sides in the event of fast flowing water. ‘Leaky dams’ might sound like something of a contradiction but they’re a great way of protecting the fragile ecology of the spawning beds of the river.

In the second part of the programme, Joe gets a cookery lesson in haggis making at the annual Burns Night supper in Newtownstewart. Irene Spratt from the Ulster-Scots Agency talks to Joe about the history, heritage and traditions surrounding the event, where the evening is rounded off with piping, drumming and dancing involving young and old alike from the community.

Throughout the series, Joe will

continue to spend time with government bodies, agencies and charity groups whose main aim is to ensure the lough and surrounding areas, and its many natural inhabitants are all looked after.

One of the great attractions of this series is the stunning aerial photography which shows off the dramatic land and seascapes of the North West region as they have never been seen before.


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