Expert angler Willie Walker with Joe Mahon on the banks of the River Finn
Joe Mahon is continuing his travels around our local countryside with his new UTV series of ‘Mahon’s Way’ and his next episode takes him to Cloghan in Co.Donegal.
Due to air on Thursday 2nd November, Joe finds himself on the banks of the River Finn in Cloghan in the parish of Glenfin in County Donegal. Here the river is wild and untamed, full of restless energy and vigour. It is also renowned for being one of the prime salmon-fishing stretches in the entire country, and is the site of a now derelict hunting and fishing lodge built on an elevated site above the river in the early 1800s by Sir Charles Styles.
John McLaughlin of Cloghan Lodge Fishery, while demonstrating his own fly-fishing skills to Joe, outlines plans, not only to restore the lodge to its former glory, but also to create a state of the art, high-end establishment that will cater for anglers from far and wide.
Joe then meets local historian John Gallagher who takes us back to a period in the 1830s when the fortunes of Glenfinseemed to take an upturn. William Pitt Kennedy, son of a Church of Ireland minister from Carndonagh and son-in law of Sir Charles Styles, arrived in the parish with a new approach to land leases and an ambitious plan to establish an agricultural school at Cloghan.
Joe Mahon with John Mclaughlin of Cloghan Lodge Fishery
Joe Mahon and Shane Gallagher of the Loughs Agency on the banks of the River Finn at Glenfin
Shane Gallagher of the Loughs Agency then gives Joe some fascinating insights into the kind of ingenious measures that are being taken to improve the habitat of the river’s fish life, including the installation of solar-powered water pumps to keep livestock away from the river’s edge, and the introduction of limestone to the river bed to increase the population of invertebrates.
Joe finishes off this trip to the River Finn in the company of Willie Walker, definitely one of the most enthusiastic, and successful, anglers he has ever encountered. The secret of that success, he tells Joe, is that, “You have to believe in the take!”
‘MAHON’S WAY’ is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV, supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund. The series is sponsored by Firmus Energy.
You can watch this episode on UTV on Thursday 2nd November at 8.30pm, and after transmission will be available on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes