Tracks & Trails Series – Featuring County Monaghan

Tracks & Trails Series, 11, begins Friday, 5th April 7.30pm RTE1,  and every following Friday for 6 Episodes.


Episode 1. Friday, 5th April 7.30pm, RTE1  Co.Waterford. 

The Boolas Loop and Dunmore East Coastal Path,

Presented by Journalist, Author and Podcaster Nicola Tallant.


Episode  2.  Friday, 12th April 7.30pm RTE1  – Co.Offaly.

Glinsk Forest, Croghan Hill & The Grand Canal Greenway from Ballycommon to Rahan.

Presented by Author of Adult & Children’s books, Sinéad Moriarty


Episode  3. Friday, 19th April  7.30pm, RTE1 – Ulster.

Gortin Glen, Co Tyrone and The Monaghan Way

Presented by historian, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter


Episode 4. Friday, 26th April, RTE1 Co.Kerry.

Tralee to Fenit and The Mass Loop Derrynane,

Presented by Camogie All Star and commentator, Ursula Jacob

Episode 5. Friday 3rd May, RTE1 Co.Kilkenny

 Kilkenny City to Bennetsbridge,on the South Leinster Way from Graiguenamangh to Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum,  Inistoige,

Presented By Director of Science for Society,  Dr. Ruth Freeman

Episode 6.  Friday 10th May, RTE1, Co.Tipperary.

On St Declan’s Way from Cahir to the Knockmealdown Mountains,

Presented by journalist and former RTE political editor Tommie Gorman. 

Tracks & Trails returns for its 11th Season with six episodes across 7 counties on the Island of Ireland.   Six presenters explore trails in Waterford, Offaly, Monaghan and Tyrone, Kerry, Kilkenny and Tipperary.   In this uplifting series, which represents what is best about our wild and natural landscapes our presenters take us on a journey along some of the most beautiful trails on the Island of Ireland.  In this season the presenters get outside into the wilds of Ireland and immerse themselves in the beautiful Irish scenery.   The presenters get a chance to link their passions for history and poetry, science and nature along the trails that they discover.  The people that they meet bring colour and context to where the trails take them and as a viewer we get a real insight into the presenter as they bring their own personality, pace and perception of their experiences to where they walk.  Each trail is challenging in its own way,  but all of these walks follow established national waymarked trails, including, St Declan’s Way, The Monaghan Way,  The South Leinster way, The Royal Canal Greenway, The Kerry Way as well as well trodden riverside and cliff paths.


Irish historian and broadcaster, Professor Diarmaid Ferriter travels to Ulster to complete two trails on either side of the border, one in the Sperrin mountain range in Co.Tyrone and the other along the scenic Monaghan Way.

Starting out 10km from Omagh, his first walk is a 12KM loop in the Gortin Glen, an area beloved by locals for generations.  The area has many walk options and Diarmaid is following a trail which takes in the forest park, a waterfall, spectacular views across the Sperrins and of course no visit to Northern Ireland would be complete without an encounter with a giant.  Diarmaid is a lover of poetry and he finds plenty of opportunity to recall lines of verse that link with the landscape and with periods of history.   Diarmaid enjoys the company of local musician and writer Declan Forde and historian Dr Patrick Fitzgerald as they walk and talk about the people here and their deep connections with the land.  The route itself changes constantly and includes forest paths, wide pathways, proper mountain paths but is well waymarked .   This 12km loop is a challenging and beautiful hike with sweeping views and a variety of terrain underfoot.

Diarmaid then travels to Co.Monaghan to Patrick Kavanagh country.  He starts his walk from the Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Iniskeen where he meets the manager Darren McCreesh. Both men share a deep love and knowledge of the life and work of Kavanagh and enjoy swapping stories about Kavanagh and his links to this area.  This walk follows a trail for 18.5km along the recently upgraded Monaghan Way and is a combination of quiet country roads, cross country trails and riverside and lakeside approaches. Wanting to see first hand the landscapes that inspired Patrick Kavanagh, Diarmaid enjoys the time he has here with Kavanagh’s words and spirit. This is a varied walk and to complete this journey Diarmaid crosses fields, disused railway lines and quiet roads to end at beautiful Loch Muckno where he feels he has seen the essence of the place that inspired Patrick Kavanagh .