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UTV’s Lough Neagh most watched programme last Monday night

21 September 2018


Joe Mahon’s Lough Neagh series got off to a great start last Monday night with over 160,000 viewers tuning in to UTV to watch the first episode, making it the most watched programme in its timeslot in Norther Ireland.  

An average of 154,000 viewers watched the first episode giving it a 30% average share.  The programme’s viewing peaked at 161,000 with a 32% share.

In the second episode which will be aired on Monday 24th September,  Joe Mahon makes an early start, taking to the waters of Lough Neagh at the crack of dawn to retrieve fishing nets that have been set the day before in an attempt to catch pollan – often referred to as “the freshwater herring”. Kieran Brazier is typical of many local fishermen for whom the night is only a dark part of the working day and most of the time he’s up and sailing out of his tiny harbour at Hunter’s Point on the Antrim shore long before the rooster begins to crow. Joe joins Kieran and his son Dylan as they haul in their nets and later, back on shore, “helps” them to unload and pack their catch in ice before it’s collected by the lorry from the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative.

Joe then does his own take on the origins of Lough Neagh and tries to disentangle some of the geology from the mythology – not entirely convincingly it has to be said!

Then it’s off further down the Antrim shore, to the Montiaghs Moss, a fragile environment which has become home to a range of dragonflies and damselflies, including the rare and only recently discovered “Irish Damselfly”. Here Joe meets up with Cathryn Cochrane and Katy Bell from the RSPB who teach him how to use a different kind of net and conduct him on a safari along the ramparts and pools of this cutover bog.

Watch this second episode of Lough Neagh on Monday 24th September at 8pm and afterwards on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes.