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TV | Joe Mahon visits Co Antrim and it’s all about castles, churches and chests



Joe Mahon returns with ‘Mahon's Way’ for the fourth episode in the current series, where he heads to Co Antrim and learns more about Dunluce Castle.


We find Joe in the magnificent setting of Dunluce Castle high on a cliff overlooking the North Antrim coast.


From the sea, Dunluce was an impregnable fortress, but on the landward side, as Andrew Gault reveals, it was a very different story.



Andrew is a senior archaeologist with the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities and he has spent a considerable part of his career piecing together the complicated story of Dunluce Castle and the lands around it.


Because this is not just one castle – it is a composite site reflecting the needs and aspirations of the different clans who occupied it during the power struggles of the 16th and 17th centuries.


We learn why the castle and surrounding town went to ruin.



Travelling inland to Ballyrashane, Joe meets Lesley Connolly who is on a quest to trace her ancestry back to a family called Stirling who travelled to Ulster from Scotland in the 1600s.


They brought with them an oaken chest which is nowadays to be found in Ballyrashane Presbyterian Church, where it served as a communion table for many generations.


The current minister of Ballyrashane, the Rev Philip Kerr, shows Joe the chest and lifts the lid on its own eventful journey - from the Stirling family’s attic to proud display in the church – a tangible link to the founding of the congregation some 400 years ago, and a wonderful reminder of the past.



Mahon's Way is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV, and supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund. The series is sponsored by Warmflow Engineering.


You can watch this episode on Sunday 14th August at 7pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes.


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