Joe Mahon is set to visit County Tyrone for the fourth episode in the new series of Lesser Spotted Journey’s on Tuesday September 20, 9pm on UTV.
In this week’s episode, Joe visits the parish of Desertcreat in County Tyrone, a place where the people don’t just have a history of making beautiful music, but for making their own beautiful instruments as well, such as the bagpipes and the violin.
From Desertcreat Joe takes in the view at Tullyhogue, ‘Hill of Youth’. A place famous for its regal history and home to the ancient coronation site of one of the most powerful clans in Irish history, the O’Neills. The historical and cultural significance felt here attracts hundreds of visitors throughout each year. Archaeologist Paul Logue chats to Joe about the history of Tullyhogue and how excavations there have produced vital contributions to our knowledge of daily life in Gaelic Ireland.
One of Desertcreat’s most famous sons tells Joe how he got his start in life looking after the cars of a wealthy business man in the area called Thomas McGregor Greer. Another of McGregor Greer’s mechanics, Joe Warnock threw his energies into another passion – this son Jim chats to Joe about his Father’s passion for music and the history of the family’s bagpipe-making business which is still in operation today.
Music isn’t the only talent in Desercreat - many women of the area ply their skilful hands at arts and crafts. Ailsa McQueen, manages to combine similar artistry and aesthetics with ingenious functionality in the crafts she makes at the dining table of her B&B. She demonstrates the purpose of an etui box to Joe, and shows him how old books can become useful woodland creatures. And local, Georgie Walker has stayed a little closer to home for inspiration, as Joe admires her tapestry of the view from her home.