Images of Inishowen’s breathtaking coastline will be beamed into the homes of an estimated 2 million TV viewers this week in episode two of Adrian Dunbar’s Coastal Ireland.
The Channel 5 series has proven to be a hit travel showcase, as cameras follow Line of Duty actor Adrian Dunbar on his adventures along the western and northern coast of Ireland.
The programme has been hailed as spectacular escapism and promotion for Ireland at a time when people are yearning to travel again.
Episode one took Dunbar as far as Rossnowlagh’s to meet Barry Britton of the Fin McCool Surf School.
This week, the second part of the series travels further north to feature An Grianán of Aileach in Burt and Malin Head, before Dunbar takes the ferry into Derry. The programme airs on Channel 5 at 8pm Thursday 11th February and is available to watch in the Republic on Saorview and online on www.my5.tv
Well-known mountaineer Bren Whelan of Donegal Climbing got the opportunity to show Dunbar and his crew around the fascinating sites of Malin Head.
“We’re talking about all things maritime, about the role of Malin throughout the decades, as a communications hub and its role in geographical significance,” Whelan tells Donegal Daily.
“The oldest rocks in Ireland are found in Malin Head, dating back 1780 million years.”
While the final edit of the show has not yet been revealed, Whelan and Dunbar also looked at the role of Malin Head in terms of trade routes and its important role in early war and weather communications.
What is now known as Banba’s Crown was a signal tower built by Lloyd’s shipping insurers during the Napoleanic Wars.
And in January 1902, the first commercial message by wireless was sent by the Marconi company from Malin Head to the passenger ship S.S. Lake Ontario.
The area also has links to the world-famous Titanic. The liner exchanged ship-to-shore communications with Malin Head on 1st April 1912.
Looking ahead to this week’s show, Whelan said he is confident that Donegal’s iconic sites will look well. Working with Dunbar was also a hugely positive experience, he said.
“Who’s not a Line of Duty fan?,” he said.
“It’s always exciting to work with somebody of his status and calibre. He is also a very nice guy, very easy to work with, very professional and his crew too.”
The show’s focus on the Wild Atlantic Way may also ensure Ireland stays front-of-mind with prospective travellers, until the time comes for them to visit again.
“Anything that attracts rural tourism, especially to a place like Malin Head, is fabulous,” Whelan adds.
The series was devised by Afro-Mic Productions, a Belfast-based production company, and supported by Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Tourism NI and Northern Ireland Screen.