In the fourth episode of the new ITV series of James Nesbitt’s Ireland, the ‘Monroe’ actor hits the trail the coastal town of Dingle, which has maintained it’s character over the years, despite being quite the local tourist haven.
Local fisherman Jimmy Flannery says: “It’s a close-knit community so everyone looks after each other. When I left school there was nothing else but fishing. I left school at 15 and went to the fishery college in Donegal, to be a deckhand on a fishing boat.” His son Colm has followed in his father’s footsteps: “The sea is definitely in my blood, there is no doubt about it…They do tell me stories of a baby seat being bolted to the back, and me doing trips with dad when I was very small.”
Alongside fishing, the father and son have been running trips into Dingle harbor for 23 years, their boat packed with tourists all eager to catch a glimpse of Fungie, a wild bottlenosed dolphin who has made Dingle his home. Hoping for a closer look, James dons his wetsuit and takes to the icy water: “For your eyes only and in the name of human, dolphin relations, I’m going to brave the depths of Dingle bay to try and have a swim with Fungie.” James is nervous for a reason. He explains: “Colm was saying earlier that it’s only the first five minutes that are really bad in the water, when you think that you’re going to die…”
Further up the west coast of Ireland in County Clare, we meet Ireland’s resident cupid Willie Daly, the last in a long line of traditional matchmakers. Willie claims his gift for romance has resulted in hundreds of marriages and he’s devised The Love Trail, taking eligible singles trekking on horses together in the hope of meeting someone special.
Also this week, it’s oyster season in the pristine waters of Galway bay and we join Michael Moran of Moran’s Oyster Cottage, as he harvests the season’s unique Galway flat oysters. On his way to the oyster beds, Michael says: “These oysters are the best in the world. They are the Galway Flats and they take five to six years to grow. I’m excited!”