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Documentary Archive on Inishowen’s Maritime Heritage Sets Sail With Greencastle Launch

16 Apr 2019

An Inishowen community group is launching its online documentary series later this month. Inishowen Community Media Network (ICMN) has been working on a digital media project, Croí na Farraige – Heart of the Sea, to tell the story of the peninsula’s rich maritime heritage. ICMN commissioned Crana Communications to research and produce a documentary series on the current state of our once-thriving fishing industry and way of life, told through the life stories of locals who made a living from the sea. The project also looks at ways in which our coastal communities are fighting back and diversifying to continue to make a living from the sea.

ICMN spokesperson Martha McCulloch said that they were delighted with the response from the local community, many of whom came forward to tell their stories. ‘Some of those who feature in the series spent a lifetime at sea and some of the younger contributors are trying to make a living from it. The idea behind the project is to document material for future generations that would otherwise be lost. All the recorded material is being archived and will be free for the public or schools and libraries to use for research or promotional purposes, e.g. Greencastle Maritime and Dunree Museums.’

The videos feature a wide range of subjects including the Foyle Fishermen’s Co-op, the oyster-farming Kearney family from Carndonagh, Seamus Bovaird and the Greencastle Maritime Museum, Andrew Ward of the IDP, Owen Doyle from BIM, old seafarers Johnny Kelly and Jim Cavanagh and younger men like Gerard Kelly and Cara Rawden. These are all sea-folk with stories to tell, some nostalgic, some sad and some with hope for the future. The short videos uploaded to date can be viewed on ICMN’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/channel/UCUNCx8er7HTMKrDtSQ6bPQA or if you cannot access the link just search for Inishowen Community Media Network on YouTube.

The project was funded by the BIM Fisheries Local Action Group and Donegal County Council, through MalinWaters, are kindly supporting the launch. Production began in October last year and the crew had abusy time interviewing and visiting locations throughout Inishowen in the months since then. Jim Doherty of Crana Communications was keen to point out that the project is far from over. ‘What we have produced and uploaded so far is only the tip of the iceberg. We have a lot more content to add to the archive. Harry Kerr of the Memory Factory needs to be acknowledged for the camerawork and editing and we have Peter Homer to thank for the wonderful drone footage. We could only do so much in the few months we had to work on this. This is really a much bigger project than we had time to do, there are many more stories to be told and hopefully they will be heard.’ Martha was keen to point out that ‘…the waters surrounding Inishowen are so much part of who we are; they’ve shaped and provided for us for generations. This is an important project and will be a resource for schools and the community telling them the story of where we camefrom.’

Anyone wanting to get in touch with ICMN can email them at guthanphobail@gmail.com or call 086 8156289.