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Cé A Chónaigh I Mo Theachsa? (Series 1) · Episode Guide


Episode 1 · Teach An Spidéil

Airing on Friday 18th Nov 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on Tg4


Teach An Spidéil is a fascinating house in the heart of Spiddal that has associations with Galway Sheriffs, Merchant Princes, John Wayne and the Waterboys


Manchán meets house owner Donal Standún who bought the house in 1998 – realising a dream he had as a child – to live in the house and restore it to it’s former glory. Donal knows some of the history of the house within the last 150 years – but not who built it and owned the land initially. Manchán discovers that Donal’s restoration of Spiddal House hasn’t been the first one. For most of the last 300 years Spiddal House was the seat of the Morris Family. The second Lord Killanin (Martin Morris) commissioned the great Irish architect William Scott to give the house a complete and radical face lift. Manchán meets Mike Scott and Steve Wickam from the Waterboys who recount their memories of recording ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ in Spiddal House. But memories of former stable boy and neighbour Jim Dillon - surprise Manchán most and send him to the Irish Film Archive in Dublin. It is here he discovers the story Jim Dillon told of John Wayne being at the house is true. The third Lord Killanin (Michael Morris) who lived in Spiddal House when Jim was a boy, was instrumental in bringing the film ‘The Quiet Man’ to Ireland. In the Irish Film Institute, Manchán views incredible unseen footage from the set of ‘The Quiet Man’ and reads letters from Lord Killanin to John Forde (Producer) about filming the movie in Connemara. In the final chapter of the Spiddal House story – Manchán takes a trip to Inis Mór to meet local historian Padraig – from this encounter he can reveal to Donal Standún, the present owner of the house that it was in fact the Fitzpatricks of Inis Mór in 1650(regarded in their day as Irish Princes of Trade) who were the first landowners of Spiddal House.


Episode 2 · Luggala Lodge

Airing on Friday 18th Nov 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on Tg4


Luggala Lodge in Co. Wicklow sits in a valley of spectacular beauty and is set against the breathtaking scenery of this ancient Wicklow valley. This legendary house has entertained and inspired royalty, musicians, poets and artists.


Manchán Magan is invited to Garech De Brún’s exquisite gothic revival lodge in Luggala Co Wicklow. The house is tucked away in a magical valley, 6,000 acres of breathtaking natural beauty. Luggala House has stood in the valley for 220 years since it was first built by the La Touche family in 1783. The house was bought by Lord Powerscourt in the 1860s and then, in 1937, sold to Ernest Guinness. It is his grandson, the honourable, Garech De Brún who lives here today. Garech’s mother, Oonagh Guinness, one of the famous three Guinness sister. She held court in luggala attracting some of the most famous names in Ireland including Samuel Beckett, Brendan Behan and Mick Jagger. Garech took on the roll of Lord of the Manor himself as soon as he was old enough and has continued to attract a whole host of interesting characters to the valley since. On his journey into the history of Luggala Lodge – Manchán investigates a piece of music that was re-arranged by composer Freddie May for Garech called ‘Luggla’ and finds there are seven variations of the same tune – the first one dating as far back as 1780. Manchán meets Garech’s neighbour Paddy Moloney who tells him how Garech and Luggala Lodge were instrumental in forming ‘The Chieftains’ and Claddagh Records. Outside in the grounds, writer Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, receites her poem “In the Great House of Ian Breaic” – which was inspired by Luggala Lodge following an invite from Garech to come down to a party. And in the Shelbourne Horseshoe Bar – Manchán has a glass of wine with the great Irish poet John Montague. John recalls the story of how one of the greatest Irish musicians to have ever lived – Sean Ó Riada – made his last recording ever on the legendary harpsichord in Luggala. For hundreds of years Luggala has inspired great music, poetry, painting and song and Garech De Brún has played his own extraordinary role in the process, and who knows what other amazing art may be born yet from this inspirational house in years to come.


Episode 3 · Sráid Sheoirse Mhór Thuaidh/ North Great George’S Street

Airing on Friday 25th Nov 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on Tg4


This stunning Georgian terraced is home to one of Dublin's favorite personalities - Senator David Norris. The senator's house will take Manchán back through 250 years of Dublin's architectural history and into the world of the candle makers


Manchán Magan has been invited by one of Ireland’s best known and best loved personalities, Senator, David Norris, to visit his stunning Georgian house in the heart of Dublin’s inner city. The story starts in the mid 1700s when Dublin was considered second only to London as one of the great cities of the British empire. Manchán meets conservation architect Nuada Mac Eoin in the Dublin City Archives. He explains how Georgian Dublin was in fact built by high class developers at the time. In the late 1700’s Lords, Earls and Viscounts, inhabit the street. But then you jump forward to 1801 and everything has changed. Now the street has been taken over by middle class solicitors and merchants. Manchán meets Patty Duffy who’s family run the oldest newsagents in Dublin. She was brought up in a tenement house on North Great George’s Street, a street that had become so dilapidated in the 1970’s it came close to complete dereliction. If it weren’t for committed activists like Senator Norris who campaigned in the 1970’s and 80’s to change people’s attitudes towards the beauty and worth of the Georgian buildings in Dublin, the whole street would have been demolished. On a revealing trip to the Registry of Deeds Manchán discovers the very first deeds relating to Senator Norris’s house. It turns out a Tallow Chandler (candle maker) named William Taylor, built the Senators house. But on closer investigation, Manchán discovers that William Taylor was also a prolific developer responsible for building Georgian houses throughout Dublin’s inner city. By changing people’s attitudes to the beauty of Georgian Dublin, the Senator saved his own house and some of William Taylor’s other houses around the city


Episode 4 · Gleann Aoibheann

Airing on Friday 2nd Dec 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on Tg4


Gleann Aoibheamm house in Clifden Co Galway. Here Manchan discovers the fascinating story of John D'Arcy the man who founded Clifden, tamed the Wild West and what his connection was to Glean Aoibheann house.


Manchán Magan is invited to Breandan Scanlon’s’ early nineteenth century house in Clifden. Breandan’s father, a Connemara vet brought his wife here as a surprise 50 years ago, having already bought the house as a surprise he convincing her to break in by a back window to see what it was like. Breandan is keen to find out who built his house and if it was a man named John D’Arcy whose name is on the first deed in 1838. Manchán discovers the ruins of the splendid Clifden Castle – built by John D’Arcy (and not too far from Breandan’s house). Local residents of Clifden give him some insight into other occupants of the house, a Greek who’s said to have fired a shot gun at locals wandering near the gates of Gleann Aoibheann. In a trip to the National Archives in Dublin Manchán uncovers an original hand illustrated 1819 Map of the area which is hugely revealing. He finds out that in 1804 John D’arcy inherited an estate of 20,000 acres in Western Connemara leaving him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. But instead of going on the rampage D’Arcy decides he would try to civilise this barbaric region. Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill (local writer) tells Manchán how D’Arcy managed to get the great engineer of the time, Alexander Nimmo to build Clifden Pier. Cáit Ni Cheallachain (Conservation Architect) reveals that Breandan’s house was in fact built on John D’Arcys estate as a hunting lodge not a family residence. But when John D’Arcy’s daughter Julia became a widower 6 months into her married life, D’Arcy signed the house over to her to become her home and live near him in his final year.


Episode 5 · Finucaine's, Béal Átha Longfoirt

Airing on Friday 9th Dec 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on Tg4


Manchán Magan is on a personal journey into the history of his own family. He visits a house and pub in Ballylongford, Co Kerry which he’s been told may hold the key not just to his own family’s history but that may also reveal part of the story of Ireland’s road to freedom.


Manchán meets house and pub owner Michael Finucane. Michael tells Manchán that his great grand uncle was one of the only leaders of the 1916 Rising who wasn’t executed because he died during the fighting. Acclaimed historian Roy Foster explains to Manchán how his great grand uncle had been left a huge sum of money by his father Richard Rahilly. Richard had been a very successful business man and entrepreneur in Ballylongford. So as a young man, Michael Rahilly could afford to live a high life, and he did. He brought the first motor car into Ireland, was founder of the first aviation club, owned a race horse, married an American heiress and then in search of his own identity and culture he begins a different journey. Pádraig Ó Snódaigh explains how Michael Rahilly adds an ‘O’ to his name and becomes The O’Rahilly – Treasurer and Director of Arms for the Irish Volunteers. Garret Fitzgerald, former Taoiseach/Prime Minister of Irelans tells Manchán how his own father fought side by side with The O’Rahilly in the Rising. Manchán discovers his great grand uncle led the charge from the GPO and died alone from bullet wounds in Moore Lane. Back in Ballylongford at a session in Finucane’s pub, his ancestral home, Manchán acknowledges that the people of Ballylongford’s own ancestors’ support of The O’Rahilly business back in the 1800’s had unwittingly contributed to the later nationalist project and the founding of this nation.


Episode 6 · Teac Caisleán Ellen/ Castle Ellen

Airing on Friday 16th Dec 2011 at 8:00 p.m. on Tg4


Castle Ellen in Athenry was built in 1810. It’s current owner Micheál Keaney tells Manchán that Oscar Wilde and Edward Carson – the man who divided Ireland – played tennis on it’s lawns!


Manchán meets house owner Donal Standún who bought the house in 1998 – realising a dream he had as a child – to live in the house and restore it to it’s former glory. Donal knows some of the history of the house within the last 150 years – but not who built it and owned the land initially. Manchán discovers that Donal’s restoration of Spiddal House hasn’t been the first one. For most of the last 300 years Spiddal House was the seat of the Morris Family.

The second Lord Killanin (Martin Morris) commissioned the great Irish architect William Scott to give the house a complete and radical face lift. Manchán meets Mike Scott and Steve Wickam from the Waterboys who recount their memories of recording ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ in Spiddal House. But memories of former stable boy and neighbour Jim Dillon - surprise Manchán most and send him to the Irish Film Archive in Dublin. It is here he discovers the story Jim Dillon told of John Wayne being at the house is true.

The third Lord Killanin (Michael Morris) who lived in Spiddal House when Jim was a boy, was instrumental in bringing the film ‘The Quiet Man’ to Ireland. In the Irish Film Institute, Manchán views incredible unseen footage from the set of ‘The Quiet Man’ and reads letters from Lord Killanin to John Forde (Producer) about filming the movie in Connemara. In the final chapter of the Spiddal House story – Manchán takes a trip to Inis Mór to meet local historian Padraig – from this encounter he can reveal to Donal Standún, the present owner of the house that it was in fact the Fitzpatricks of Inis Mór in 1650(regarded in their day as Irish Princes of Trade) who were the first landowners of Spiddal House.


SOME IMAGES FROM CÉ A CHÓNAIGH I MO THEACHSA? (SERIES 1):

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