Don’t miss Cúltír – exciting TG4 programme focused in Fingal

by Rose Barrett
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A new exciting series, Cúltír (“Hinterland”) on TG4 will feature Fingal on Sunday next, August 28.

Rooted in live performance, Cúltír sees Pauline Scanlon and Aoife Ní Bhriain – both rising stars of the Irish music scene – guide viewers through the musical and cultural heartbeat of six Irish counties.

Supported by Fingal County Council as part of its Creative Ireland Programme, it will focus primarily on traditional and folk music and began its six-week series on August 14.

Pauline and Aoife take to the stage with the cream of national musical talent, from John Spillane in Co Cork to Mick Hanly in Kilkenny and across the Shannon to Roscommon where we hear from the legendary Matt Molloy and John Carty to Leslie Dowdall and rapper JyellowL in Fingal to Westmeath legends Foster & Allen. 

The Fingal programme explores Fingal’s priceless Neolithic heritage at the Bremore Passage Tombs with Heritage Officer Christine Baker, as well as showing the contemporary, modern, urban, vibrant Fingal.

Singer Pauline Scanlon and violinist Aoife Ní Bhriain celebrate the music and ancient culture of Fingal. For Aoife, it’s a happy homecoming to her native county, as she performs with her father, legendary piper Mick O’Brien.

A lively and diverse night of music from the Irish Institute of Music and Song in Balbriggan sees the great Leslie Dowdall join the hosts on-stage, while dance troupe ProdiJIG, rapper JyellowL and balladeers Sean Fitzgerald and Daragh Lynch head an eclectic line-up which also includes The Black Raven Band, folk fusion quartet Pontún and young fiddler Róisín O’Connor, supported by her parents Paudie O’Connor and Aoife Ní Chaoimh.

Meanwhile, Aoife goes in search of Fingal’s ancient roots, including visiting Garristown Mill and the Hide Sculpture and meeting the county’s famous “Mummers” as well as David O’Connor, Seán McPhilbín and Garett Phelan along the way.

Lillian Whelan FCC’’s Creative Ireland Co-Ordinator said: “FCC was delighted to support Cúltír as part of our Creative Ireland Programme. Cúltír.  is a beautiful Irish Language production which showcases Fingal’s heritage and music and we encourage everyone to watch on Sunday at 9.30pm on TG4”.

Pauline Scanlon who recently also performed in Fingal at the Seamus Ennis Centre Naul as part of Atlantic Arc said: “It’s such a privilege to share the screen with greats of Irish music like John Spillane, Mick Hanly and Leslie Dowdall and to perform alongside so many of them.  

“I also think it’s very important that this is a new music series fronted by two women who are performers in their own right – This is reflective of the growing appetite for the equal representation of women in Irish music going forward. We are also immensely proud of delivering a gender balanced series that platforms an array of excellent female performers, artists, craftspeople and musicians.”

Aoife Ní Bhriain described the Fingal episode of a highlight of the series for her “It has been an amazing experience all round. As the on-the-road presenter, I learned pretty quickly that I had to be ready for anything from crawling through a coal-mine in Roscommon to trying to stay on a surfboard off West Cork.”  

“Music-wise, it’s impossible to pick a highlight – I get to perform on location with some great friends like Peadar Ó Riada and Iarla Ó Líonard.  However the Fingal episode where I get to play with my Dad – Mick O’ Brien was really special. We have Fingal roots and are very proud Dubs, so to be playing on home ground for a home audience is always going to be a highlight.”   

Cúltír is made possible by funding and support from TG4, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s Sound & Vision scheme, and Creative Ireland via local authorities in Fingal, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Roscommon and Westmeath.

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