- Text size: A A

Joe Mahon digs deep in the next episode of UTV’s ‘Lough Neagh’

09 November 2018

Jimmy Conway shows Joe Mahon one the intriguing headstones to be found in the Shankill Graveyard in Lurgan.


In next week’s episode Joe Mahon grabs a trowel and a log-tailed shovel as he joins an archaeological dig at Brocagh on the south western shore of Lough Neagh. Students from the Queen’s University Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork are exploring the site of an early 17th century fort that was built by Lord Deputy Mountjoy during the Nine Years War. The dig is led by Ruairí Ó Baoill who shows Joe some of the intriguing objects they have unearthed from the site, including a flint knife last held by someone 7,500 years ago and a wig-curler used by an officer during the campaign fought between the forces of Hugh O’Neill and the English armies of Elizabeth 1.

Joe then travels back up the lough to the location of an earlier dig at Ardboe where the Director of CAF, Dr Colm Donnelly, outlines the way in which archaeology has changed in recent times with regard to the way it shares information with local communities and involves them directly in archaeological activities.

Local historian Jimmy Conway then meets Joe at Oxford Island where he shows him the recently discovered foundations of what may be an ancient church once used as a shelter by the Brownlow family, some of the earliest settlers to come to the area as part of the Plantation of Ulster. The Brownlows would go on to become an important dynasty in the Lurgan area and it’s to the old Shankill graveyard in the town that Jimmy brings Joe to see their mausoleum. He then conducts Joe on a tour of some of the more intriguing graves and headstones of the graveyard, including that of the woman who lived once but was buried twice!

Lough Neagh is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV and is sponsored by Connolly’s of Moy.   You can see the next episode on Monday 12 November at 8pm on UTV.  Catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes.