By staff reporter
Lough Derg’s extraordinary spiritual attraction as Ireland’s oldest place of pilgrimage is revealed in a new documentary to be broadcast on Ireland’s first international channel, Irish TV next week.
Ireland’s Pilgrim People will air at 9pm on Thursday, July 17 and can be seen across Ireland, the UK, and Europe on Sky Channel 191, Freesat 400, Eircom’s eVision, free-to-air boxes and online at Irishtv.ie and in the United States on the PBS network
Presenter Malachi Cush joins 68 pilgrims as they land at the Sanctuary of St Patrick on Donegal’s Lough Derg and the hour-long programme records their experiences of three days of prayer, penance and fasting.
“Something very powerful has drawn people down through the centuries to this extremely remote location where they deprive themselves of food and sleep in order to reach a deeper understanding of themselves and ordinary life,” said Malachi.
“We show viewers what brings pilgrims to Lough Derg and explore the deep sense of peace, calm and fulfilment that is to be enjoyed on this island which St Patrick himself was called to.”
Travelling barefoot and accompanied by his friend Monsignor Colm Curry, Malachi follows the path set out for all pilgrims on this unique Christian site which has been described as the most robust and challenging pilgrimage in Europe.
As he prays and fasts, Malachi give us an insight into the many reasons why people continue to endure the ravages of sleep deprivation, weather exposure and hunger that Lough Derg can promise.
“We talk to people from Ireland, Scotland and America, people of all ages and backgrounds, about what has called them to Lough Derg, repeatedly in many cases.”
Irish TV began broadcasting in May and is introducing more original programming every week.
Each of the 32 counties has their own half-hour County Matters show once a week, produced by IrishTV’s own nationwide production network.
“Our upcoming schedule includes original programmes such as Cooking with Treyvaud with Killarney chef and YouTube sensation Paul Treyvaud who is set to become a huge hit with his unconventional approach,” said Malachi who is head of broadcasting at Irish TV.
“Take Note is Ireland’s first classical music programme, presented by popular soprano Helen Hutchinson and it airs on Sunday nights.
“Grass Roots is the first 32-county agriculture programme and will be hugely based around the small family farm.
“The Golf Show travels Ireland featuring a different golf club every week, while Storytime is a simple, engaging and educational daily production aimed at 6-10 year olds.
“We will also have fashion, a comedy drama, and a search for a new traditional music star among others – not forgetting our hugely popular County Matters series.”