Ardal Tours the Islands

From Rathlin in the north to Cape Clear in the south, the islands off the coast of Ireland have long been a source of inspiration and of myth. But they are also home to a rich diversity of wildlife and a wide range of people.

In Inis na nIontas, actor and comedian Ardal O’Hanlon takes us on a fascinating journey, unearthing the history, observing the wildlife and meeting the islanders trying to live sustainably within their extraordinary environment.  

This is Ardal O’Hanlon’s first Irish-language show. His mother, Teresa, is a native Irish-speaker, and in this series, Ardal fulfils a longstanding ambition to practise and improve his Irish and promote its use to a wider public.  

The first episode will be broadcast on TG4 on 10th January at 9.30pm. It focusses on the north, beginning on Rathlin Island, famous for its countless seabirds and, unique to the island, the golden hare. Here, Ardal learns how an astonishing archaeological find has rewritten Irish history, and he tastes some noodles made from kelp, sustainably farmed on the island.

From Rathlin, Ardal travels to remote Tory Island off Donegal, where he learns of its musical tradition and its mystical past, and we see how farming practices are being fashioned to encourage the endangered corncrake. Next, he heads to Arranmore, the largest island of the north. Here, he learns how the islanders are encouraging new residents, while on a beautiful, small islet the threatened little tern has found a welcome sanctuary.