Historic Kerry townland tells a great story

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Kerry will feature prominently in a new series of the award-winning Bailte which returns to TG4 with Síle Nic Chonaonaigh continuing her journey through the townlands of Ireland. She will explore the resilience within rural communities and reveal the deep connection people have with their townland and how local landscapes and traditions remain a constant influence on their daily lives.

Sinéad Ní Chathasaigh and Léan Firtéar agus a gclann

The series celebrates hardworking and vibrant communities that are working to ensure their community is more than just a mere lay-by and a pretty spot on the Wild Atlantic Way. With the spectacular backdrop of rural Ireland and an honest telling of contemporary life, Bailte gives a distinctive portrayal of life in Ireland.

Some townlands Síle visits have hundreds of locals, others have much fewer, while one townland visited has just the one family.

As well as the many advantages of living in rural townlands, the series also shares the difficulties living in remote area, rural depopulation, lack of basic services, unemployment, and the uncertain futures of both the farming and the fishing industries.

Mícheál Ó Móráin and Áine Ní Chathasaigh

This week’s episode, on Thursday night, will see Síle head to Kerry and, in particular, to An Baile Riabhach which is located a few miles west of An Daingean in West Kerry.

In one way, it is a relatively new townland as the current occupants are descendants of the families that moved into the village through the land commission’s schemes of the 1950s following the departure of the landlords.

But of course, people lived there long before that and the archaeological ruins of Teampall Mancháin, also known as An Teampall Geal, are the focal point for the traditional patron festival.

The local community still celebrates the patron festival with a dawn Mass on Easter Sunday, as Síle witnesses on her visit to this vibrant, welcoming and rich community.

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