In this brand-new series of Slí na mBeaglaoich, father and son duo Breanndán and Cormac Ó Beaglaoich will once again take on an epic Irish musical journey together in their beloved campervan, Beauty.
This time around, they will travel along a stunning route through Cork all the way to Wicklow, immersing themselves in the rich musical and cultural tapestry of the South and Southeast of Ireland.
They take on a route through four of Ireland’s most stunning coastal counties, in search of great stories, tunes, songs and of course, meeting with incredible characters along the way.
Slí na mBeaglaoich begins at their home in Kerry as they venture towards West Cork in episode one, travelling all the way towards East Cork in episode two, then onto Waterford for episode three, and finishing in Wexford and Wicklow for episode four.
Episode Synopsis for Slí na mBeaglaoich
Clár 1 – Muscraí go Béal an Dá Chab
Starting out their journey in Cork at the Top of Coom, they meet with singer Ruth Ní Riada before moving on to the Béara Peninsula to walk on the hallowed ground where the esteemed Dwyer family of composers and musicians hailed from.
There they meet accordion player Diarmuid Ó Meachair who plays the music of Finbarr Dwyer on Dursey Island.
Travelling to Baltimore, they meet Declan McCarthy who takes them on a boat around the area before arriving at the grave of Canon Goodman outside the town. Along the way, they hear music from sisters Éimhear and Caoimhe Flannery as well as harpist Oisín Morron and flute player Éilis Ní Shuilleabháin.
Finishing up in Ballydehob, they pop into the famous Levis’ Pub where they meet Con Fada Ó Drisceoill and the Four Star Trio.
Clár 2 – Ceann Sáile go Baile Choitín
In this second instalment of Slí na mBeaglaoich visit the site of the Battle of Kinsale, where they pay homage to their ancestors who fought there.
Wanting to know more about the Begleys’ link to Cork, they meet Martina O’Neill at her home in Sarsfield’s Court and she explains how they are connected to the Begleys because of the famous battle.
There they are joined by some other family members – Breanndán’s sister Caitlín Ní Bheaglaoich and her son Aogán Lynch. Moving towards Cork city, they meet Haru Naito – a fiddle maker from Japan who has made the city his home and he plays a tune on the accordion for them.
They pop into the home of their friend Colm Murphy and join him and Aidan Coffey for a few tunes. Lisa and Eoin Stan O’Sullivan play some Cork polkas in the Corner House Polkas and then Breanndán and Cormac finish up this leg of the journey in Ballycotton where they meet with fiddlers Maria Ryan and Lucia McPartlin.
Clár 3 – Na Déise
In this third episode, they visit the Waterford Gaeltacht, An Rinn, where they learn about the local seafaring stories from Áine Uí Foghlú, and meet Pax and Macdara Ó Faoláin in Tigh an Cheoil, before going for a stroll and a song at the pier with Ann Mulqueen.
They move towards the Glenmore Organic Farm in Ballyduff where they gate crash a house party with the Hyland family of musicians and dancers.
Driving along the UNESCO heritage route – the Copper Coast – they arrive in Tramore where they go for a dip in one of the most picturesque diving areas in the country, The Guilleamenes, and hear some tunes from Sarah O’Gorman & Claire Fennell.
Heading into Waterford city, Breanndán and Cormac meet local historian James Doherty who is delighted to show them around, explaining about the Viking connection to the place, before they finish off with a chat and tunes from Jimmy O’Brien Moran, Neill Byrne and Caoimhín Ó Fearghail in Tully’s Bar.
Clár 4 – Loch Garman go Cill Mhantáin
In this fourth and final instalment, the duo travel across from Passage East and arrive in Arthurstown in Co. Wexford before travelling on to meet the infamous harmonica-playing Murphy brothers John and Pip in Carrick-on-Bannow.
From there, they travel towards Wexford town to meet old friend Stephen James Smith who chats about his life there since he moved from Dublin before he recites one of his poems about the area.
At Kilmore Quay, harpists Shelly O’Grady and Una Walsh play stunning few tunes in a local fishing supplies shop while sheltering from the rain outside.
An interesting visit to the home of Paddy Berry provides some insight into the history of the ancient language of Yola and Paddy joins his brother Phil to sing a local song. Breanndán and Cormac pay a visit to Egan’s of Parkridge which is just over the border into Wicklow and listen to some music from Paddy and Larry Egan with Ciarán Somers and Dave Sheridan.
A kayaking excursion on Blessington Lake with Brian McGloinn gives us a glimpse of the stunning Wicklow Mountains and lakes before it’s time to relax and reflect on the journey in the Bosca Beatha – an outdoor sauna based in Glenmalure Valley.
Their final visit of the series is to the home of Mary Maxwell in the Glen of Imal where they learn about the mumming tradition of the Eastern Counties, before watching a set dance and some more great music.
Slí na mBeaglaoich will be broadcast on Sunday nights at 9.30pm, beginning on 25th September 2022.