It’s All About ‘Soil And Oil’ In Magilligan In The Next Episode Of Lough Foyle

Joe Mahon continues his travels around Lough Foyle and its hinterlands on Monday night, (9th November) as he heads to Magilligan to find out about perfect carrots and rapeseed that both grow in abundance, thanks to the amazing soil and dedication and entrepreneurship of the growers involved.

‘LOUGH FOYLE’ is a television travelogue series featuring the history, natural environment and cultural heritage of the Foyle catchment area, with particular emphasis on Ulster-Scots elements of the hinterland.

Joe spent several months, both pre and post lockdown, exploring the unique watery environment of Lough Foyle, and this series is taking the viewer on a fabulous journey on one of the greatest river systems in the island of Ireland.

In Monday night’s episode, the eighth in the ten-parter, Joe Mahon makes a return after 25 years to Cooke family farm at Magilligan. When Joe first set out to make programmes travelling the Ulster countryside he met Willie Cooke, who explained to him why this part of the world was famous for growing such wonderful crops of carrots. Joe recently got word that Willie, now in his eighties, had finally decided to retire from the carrot trade so he set out on a nostalgic visit to catch up with some old friends, and hear some carrot stories. Despite his advancing years, Willie still refuses to pass on to Joe the secrets of the trade! After growing and harvesting over 180,000 tonnes of them over the years, he’s obviously doing something right!

In the second part of the programme, Joe meets Richard and Leona Kane who will be getting into carrots for the first time with the help of one of Willie’s sons. They grow rapeseed in the townland of Broighter over on the other side of the River Roe. As he tells us, the visit was worth it if only to stand in a radiant field of gold with a backdrop of Binevenagh Mountain. But there’s much more to it than that, as Leona describes the process of pressing the oil they produce from the tiny black seeds, and Richard outlines both the good and the bad that accompany farming in the truly unique and curious soil of the eastern shore of Lough Foyle.

LOUGH FOYLE is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV, supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund.  The series is sponsored by House Proud Furniture.    You can watch this episode on Monday 9th November at 8pm on UTV and on catch up on