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Video Review - "Northern Ireland"
by Bridget Haggerty

Majestic scenery, traditional Irish airs and a fascinating commentary combine to make this 55-minute overview of Northern Ireland both informative and entertaining.

Did you know that St. Patrick's final resting place is in DownPatrick, that President Grant's ancestral roots are in Tyrone, or that the lyricist for Danny Boy was born in Londonderry? For such a relatively short program, the video is chock full of facts about the history and heritage of all six counties. It's also a visual delight as the camera takes in dramatic shots of the Giant's Causeway, the Nine Glens of Antrim, the Mountains of Mourne, high crosses and ancient monuments, abbeys and cathedrals, castles and cottages.

Beyond the landscapes, history and heritage, we're also exposed to the extraordinary craftsmanship of Beleek artisans in Fermanagh and crystal blowers in Tyrone. We see bustling Belfast City, with its Golden Mile, Grand Opera House, Queen's University and many other attractions. And, we're delighted to be armchair spectators as annual events such as the ploughing championships and motorcycle races fill the screen.

Educational as well as enjoyable, we learn that five of the six counties meet at Loch Neagh, that Ireland's oldest Christian monument is in Armagh, and that the Old Bushmills Distillery is the world's longest licensed whiskey maker. Intriguing are the views of the Beaghmore Stone Circles on a wild moorland in Tyrone and the enigmatic statues of White Island and Boa in Fermanagh. And captivating is the shot of Slemish Mountain where St. Patrick herded sheep when he was a slave.

In our review, we've jumped all over the province in an effort to mention a bit about each county; the video is a lot more orderly! The tour begins with the walled city of Londonderry and ends in the orchard county of Armagh. In-between, we see the coastal splendor of Antrim, the lakes of Fermanagh, the wide variety of views in Down, the bleak bogland of Tyrone, and the spectacular coastal roads of Antrim.

Overall, OB Video Productions has done a masterful job of giving us a tantalizing glimpse into each county - just enough to make you want to see more. Which is the whole point - if you're planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, be sure to include a visit to one or more of them. And be sure to order this excellent introduction before you go! It will be tremendously helpful in planning your trip and then after you get home, you can play it for family and friends and tell them, we were there...and there...and there!

To oder the video, please see the ad in the right margin, or click here: O & B Videos.

O & B Productions also has available in-depth videos on the following specific regions in Northern Ireland:

The Lakes of Fermanagh
The Ards Peninsula and North Down
The Mountains of Mourne and South Down
The Glens of Antrim
Borough of Ballymena
The Causeway Coast

Should you purchase one or more of these videos, we invite you to submit a review for possible future publication on our site. Go raibh maith agat!

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

The Galway Hooker

This unique vessel, with its distinctive curved lines and bright red sails, originated in the village of Claddagh. During the 19th century, hookers supported a significant fishing industry and also carried goods, livestock and fuel. Seán Rainey is remembered for building the last of the original boats, the Truelight, for Martin Oliver who was to become the last king of the Claddagh; as king, he was entitled to white sails on his boat. Since the mid seventies, many of the old sailing craft which were on the verge of extinction have been lovingly restored and new ones have been built. During the summer months they can be seen at festivals such a Cruinniú na mBád - the Gathering of the Boats - in Kinvara.

More Culture Corner

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For nearly an hour, the armchair tourist can absorb the natural wonders, history and heritage of Ireland's six northern counties. Accompanied by an informative narrative and traditional Irish airs, this very well-done video tape is a great introduction to all of the scenic and cultural attractions that draw thousands of tourists to the north each year.
Click here for Northern Ireland Video.


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