Sharon Shannon and Nathan Carter in Clondra earlier this summer
Fáilte Ireland and TG4 have joined forces with renowned Irish musician Sharon Shannon on a new travel and music programme ‘Heartlands’.
The four-week series, commencing on Wednesday, August 11 at 8.30pm, features Sharon Shannon and her niece Caoilinn Ní Dhonnabháin showcasing the Shannon River region across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Packed with inspirational ideas for short breaks this summer and into autumn, the series will encourage and remind more Irish people to discover the joy of holidaying in Ireland.
Episode 1: Wednesday, August 11
Sharon visits Counties Cavan, Roscommon and Leitrim
Shannon Pot with Manchán Magan
Caoilinn chats with Steve Wickham/Liam O’Maonlaí at Kilronan Castle
Sharon & Caoilinn visit the Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo
Meet with Piper Ronan Browne in Battlebridge
Eleanor Shanley chats in Cryans, Carrick-on-Shannon
Episode 2: Wednesday, August 18
Sharon visits Counties Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford and Westmeath
Farmers Market at Carrick-on-Shannon
Strokestown House and Gardens
Chat and tune with Nathan Carter at Richmond Harbour
Bay Sports at Hodson Bay
Chat and tune with the Henshaw Family
Episode 3: Wednesday, August 25
Sharon visits Counties Westmeath, Offaly and Galway
Pass through Athlone – Celtic Roots Studio
Visit Clonmacnoise, Offaly
Chat and tune with Seamus Begley at Luker’s, Shannonbridge
Visit Portumna Castle
Chat and tune with Mundy at Pod Umna, glamping village
Episode 4: Wednesday, September 1
Sharon visits Counties Clare and Tipperary
Visit Derg Isle and Holy Island
Chat and tune with Gerry Banjo O’Connor at Garrykennedy, Tipperary
Beal Boru with Aindrias de Staic
Chat and tune with Susan O’Neill at Ballina/Killaloe
Sharon and her niece Caoilinn Ní Dhonnabháin will slowly cruise the River Shannon discovering Ireland’s hidden gems while catching up with a host of musical friends, such as Liam O’Maonlaoi (Hothouse Flowers), Steve Wickham (The Waterboys), Eleanor Shanley, Nathan Carter, The Henshaws, Seamus Begley, Mundy, Gerry ‘Banjo’ O’Connor and Susan O’Neill.
Building on the success of Fáilte Ireland’s current domestic marketing campaign, ‘Keep Discovering’, the new TG4 television series ‘Heartlands’, in association with Fáilte Ireland, will air from Wednesday, August 11 at 8.30pm running each Wednesday for four weeks.
The series was supported by TG4, Fáilte Ireland, Waterways Ireland and all nine Local Authorities along the Shannon from the Shannon Pot to Lough Derg (Cavan, Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Galway, Clare and Tipperary).
Paddy Mathews, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Operations for Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, said:
“Heartlands is an exciting new series which fuses travel with music, uncovering a host of hidden gems along the River Shannon and introducing the viewer to some of Ireland’s greatest musicians along the way. Following Sharon Shannon and her niece Caoilinn Ní Dhonnabháin from the Shannon Pot all the way down to Lough Derg is a wonderful way to showcase Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands in an engaging way which makes for compelling viewing.“
‘Heartlands’ will visit a number of locations across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, telling stories that explore the hidden and not so hidden treasures that the region has to offer. Each 30-minute programme will see Sharon and Caoilinn connect with some of Ireland’s top musicians while reminding viewers of the many unique experiences on offer.
Commenting on her involvement in the ‘Heartlands’ programme, Sharon Shannon said:
“It’s only when you get a chance, like I have, to explore what’s on our doorstep, that you truly realise the wonderful gems we have around Ireland, and in particular along the River Shannon in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. It’s been such a joy to be involved with this wonderful programme ‘Heartland’, combining my great love of Ireland and music with Fáilte Ireland and TG4 and I truly encourage everyone to go and explore for yourself the host of things to see and do along our very own River Shannon!”
Proinsias Ní Ghráinne, TG4 Commissioning Editor commented: “Heartlands is a highly entertaining and visually rich series which literally goes to the heart of Irish music and storytelling on the shores of the Shannon. TG4 is delighted to package such top-class musical content into four half hours to be broadcast in our primetime schedule. Mo cheol sibh!”
In 2018, Fáilte Ireland unveiled ‘Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands’ as its latest tourism brand, to bring to life the Midland’s rich natural assets including its many lakes, walkways and blueways. It also leveraged a growing tourism trend for soft adventure by encouraging visitors to be ‘active in nature’ and to explore the region off the beaten tracks with the River Shannon as a central focus of the brand to drive tourism opportunities both on and off the water, and in the towns surrounding it.
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