UTV unearths Ulster-Scots heritage

Published Monday, 07 January 2013
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Ulster Unearthed, a new archaeology and heritage series looking at NI's past and its Ulster-Scots links, begins on Monday night on UTV.

UTV unearths Ulster-Scots heritage
Rita Fitzgerald, pictured, who presents the brand new series Ulster Unearthed. (© UTV)

During the six part series, a team of experts explores sites and digs in counties across the province, revealing exciting new finds through the use of laser technology and state-of-the-art computer imaging.

Presented by Rita FitzGerald, the first episode explores a 400-year-old fort at Dunnalong on the banks of the River Foyle and travels to where a bloody battle took place near Ballymoney in 1642.

In future episodes, Ulster Unearthed takes a closer look at Carrickfergus Castle, which has played a military role for almost 1,000 years in the Co Antrim town.

While in Ballycarry, near Larne, the team learns more about a site close to Ireland's first Presbyterian church that a property developer has his eye on.

In Bangor, an exciting discovery is made. Searches for an Ulster-Scots settlement result in relics from a much earlier period being discovered.

The final programme takes the team to the north Antrim coast, to Dunluce, where more is learned about a medieval hall dating back to the 1550s and the castle's resident ghost!

Presenter Rita FitzGerald said: "Ulster Unearthed is a fabulous series to work on. I hope viewers enjoy watching it as much as we did making it! The history and special effects are really amazing."

Produced by Televisionary:NI, a local independent production company, the series received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund (USBF).

Jeremy Hibbard, Televisionary:NI's Creative Director, said: "Thousands of people came to Ulster from Scotland during the seventeenth century. These 'Ulster-Scots' made the journey to escape religious persecution, improve their standing in life and also because the journey was short and easy to make."

Michael Wilson, UTV's Managing Director of Television said: "This is a fascinating new series. We have a long track record of working with Televisionary and we're looking forward to the same success that their Ultimate Ulster series delivered for UTV.

"It was not only the most-watched non-news programme on UTV at that time, but also the most-watched regional programme in the whole of the UK."

Ulster Unearthed is aired on Mondays at 8pm.

© UTV News
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5 Comments
Peter in Armagh wrote (590 days ago):
I hope the makers of this series don't shirk away from the 'warts and all' truth. Large parts of Ireland were ethnically-cleansed of the native population and the land given to Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Manx, Huguenot and Dutch Protestant settlers. A small number of Scots were settled in Ulster, but they soon melded into the native Gaelic Catholic population.
gregory maguire in donegal wrote (590 days ago):
thats what i call a very well put together show it whats people what to see an know about on u t v look forward to seeing more of this i hope its not a 1 off run .keep up the good work its very up to date struff even alde to catch the young ones minds great
Angus O'Malley in a portion of Ireland wrote (590 days ago):
shock!!! Horror!!!! The Scots - as everyone knows, referred to inhabitants of Ireland- and the Scots Irish have been assimilated for a 1,000 years, though it seems now we have to believe they stopped at the Ulster border obviously to form Ulster Scots no doubt. Dalriada anyone?
Einstein in Belfast wrote (591 days ago):
Good idea for a show, & not before time, but needs to be many more of this kind - & far too short to do the subject matter any real justice - needs to be longer (eg an hour) something akin to Time Team, so that we have a proper programme for archaelogy - which many very people here are interested in.
Steven in Bready Co Tyrone wrote (591 days ago):
Really enjoyed watching this first programme. I live close to Dunnalong but its unfortunate that more details on the area were' revealed, especially for people who live in other parts of the country. The area, town land, closest village or county was not stated. Why?
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