The spectacular coastline of Waterford will feature in a natural history series on TG4 that was filmed over two years in Ultra High Definition.
Iontais na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha was co-produced with BBC Wales, by Tua Films and One Tribe TV, and airs from Wednesday January 12th. Presenter Eoin Warner will take viewers on a journey of discovery around the Celtic coasts of Ireland and Wales, exploring the hidden wildlife around our shores.
The series was created with some of the filmmakers behind natural history series Blue Planet, and features never-seen-before details of Ireland's South East coast as well as the Welsh coast. The camera team has captured footage of blue sharks, basking sharks and Fin whales swimming and hunting.
In a statement, TG4 said:
Our team has captured some remarkable and exciting new behaviours that have never been filmed in Celtic waters before: such as the courtship rituals of bottle-nosed dolphins. Our dive team also filmed the wonders of the Celtic deep where we discover sex-shifting cuckoo wrasse, huge sea urchins, ancient lobsters and a giant conger eel, all hiding in a wreck.
The three episodes of Iontais na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha are divided into three habitats; the shores, the shallows and the deep. The first episode, The Shores sees Eoin Warner explore the marine animals that inhabit the coastlines of Ireland and Wales who need to adapt to this rapidly changing environment. Eoin goes kayaking off Waterford’s copper coast and he encounters curious Atlantic grey seals pirouetting around him. The camera team follow the seals through a whole year, from their courtship to pregnancy and to the birth of a white pup.
In Episode 2, The Shallows, Eoin goes diving to explore the seabed. In this episode, the camera crew goes underwater to join a female catshark as she lays an egg called a ‘mermaid's purse’ deep in the kelp forest floor. The crew also visited Lady's Island Lake in County Wexford, where Arctic terns have arrived to breed.
In Episode 3, The Deep, Eoin explores the charismatic animals of the deep Celtic waters - from the giant fin whale to the tiny microplankton that is responsible for 50% of the air that we humans breathe. In this episode the filmmakers first encounter a group of fin whales - at twenty-five meters long, the planet’s second largest animals.
Having witnessed all these marine marvels over three hours of television, Eoin reflects on how we must fight to preserve this fragile ecosystem for generations into the future.
Iontais Na bhFarraigí Ceilteacha starts Wednesday January 12th at 9.30pm on TG4.