Donald and Jim Whiteside with Joe Mahon at Seskinore.
Joe Mahon made welcome to return to UTV last week with the opening episode of his news series of ‘MAHON’S WAY’where he visited County Down.
For the second instalment to be aired on Tuesday evening (15th August) at 8pm, Joe finds himself in Seskinore, where he finds out so much about the history and heritage of the area focusing on two local families with strong links to the area.
As many locals know, Seskinore is a name that applies to the small village, the townland and the forest, all of which share a compact space about five and a half miles to the south east of Omagh.
We find Joe deep in the forest with a group of walkers all of whom played in the forest as children and who enjoy an hour or so walking and most importantly chatting! They share with Joe how they’d like to see the forest environment improved with shelters and some educational information about the forest its history and its habitat.
Hugh McAleer, Joe Mahon and Robert Riddle in Seskinore Forest.
Joe then heads to the local Primary School and finds out more about the rather poignant story of the McClintocks, (after whom the school is named) the landed gentry who built the village, the school and the church, and whose last generations had lost all contact with Seskinore through a series of unfortunate family tragedies, and all knowledge of their Tyrone birth right.
We hear how a surviving relative made a very welcome return to the village in recent years.
The other story is that of the Whiteside family. Jim Whiteside and his son Donald have, between them, clocked up nearly a century of dedicated service, working to preserve the health of our forests and the animals that inhabit them. Joe reminisces with Jim, now retired in Seskinore, who tells Joe of the very hard labour involved when he first started out, and demonstrates to Joe some of the labour saving machinery that is in use today. His son Donald followed him into the profession and, still as busy as ever, tells Joe about the challenges in today’s Forest Service.
Sam Dennison and Joe Mahon in the churchyard at Seskinore.
Joe returns to County Tyrone later in the series with visits to Augher and Clogher in mid-September.
‘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 FirmusEnergy.
You can watch this episode on Tuesday 15th August at 8pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes