On 3rd September 2007, RTÉ’s Nationwide television show featured an entire programme from Achill Island. The 25 minute broadcast combined live interviews and links with pre-recorded items and rare archive footage of life on the island, its natural beauty, and its tourism potential.
The show can be viewed online in full, or via shorter clips, at the link below (requires a broadband / high speed Internet connection):

Watch the Nationwide Achill Island programme online

Programme Contents:

Achill Voices (13mins 50secs)
Mary Fanning interviews Robert Redmond, the award-winning photographer and author, about his new book ‘Achill Voices’. This extensive clip follows Robert to several of his favourite Achill Island places and people, and he explains their significance to him as he recreates some of the photographs featured in the book. This section includes:

  • Achill landscape (Keem Bay, Granuaile’s Castle, The Atlantic Drive)
  • Joe O’Malley and the curragh ride to Inishbiggle Island
  • The Deserted Village at Slievemore
  • John Sweeney and Achill flowers
  • Basket making with Kathleen McNay
  • Bridget Patten, ‘last of the spinners’
  • Gray’s Guesthouse and its distinguished hostess, Vi McDowell
  • Achill’s history of emigration to Scotland
  • The tourism potential of Achill

Island Employment (5mins 40 secs)
Mary Fanning reports on the 1950s shark fishing industry at Achill’s Keem Bay. Interview with Michael Gielty. Includes rare archive footage of shark fishing. Contact 4 call centre – interviews with managers and workers.

Achill Development (2 mins)
Interview with Pat Kilbane of Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla (Achill Local Development Company) about the prospects and plans for Achill Island.

Surfing in Achill Island (2 mins 33 secs)
Keel beach is one of Ireland’s finest surfing locations, and this clip reports on the popularity of surfing in Achill for locals and visitors alike. It features interviews with local surf coach Shane Cannon and with Noreen Sweeney of the Achill Surf Club.