A Sense of Tradition: The Tree Fellers

A Sense of Tradition: The Tree Fellers

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County Tyrone, Doonroe Cairn




September 1993


15min 06sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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An ITV schools programme.

Using the methods of reenactment, time markers and maps, and by visiting present-day locations, presenter Oliver McGilloway tells the story of Ireland's first farmers.

We begin in County Tyrone, taking in the Dun Ruadh (Doonroe) Cairn. Horseshoe-shaped, it is suggested that Doonroe was used as a graveyard - a hypothesis supported by the discovery of human remains at the site. In particular, it is believed that it was used as a burial ground by Ireland's first, post-Ice Age peoples, some 5,500 years ago. 

It was a hardscrabble life for Ireland's first farmers. Both arable and livestock farming required relatively clear swathes of land. At the time however, Ireland was covered in thick forests. This meant it was necessary to cut down the trees themselves, usually choosing upland areas, due to trees being sparser in such locations and the soil being more fertile. 

Despite the obstacles, these early peoples proved relatively successful farmers. In time however, over worked soil meant that they would have to relocate, a process that would be repeated many times over. 


ITV Schools was the educational television service set up

in 1957 by the Independent Television Authority, broadcasting learning

programmes for children ages 5 to 18 across ITV-affiliated stations. It

was an example of public service broadcasting on a commerical television

network. ITV moved its schools programming to Channel 4 in 1987,

although ITV continued to produce programmes and the service continued

to use the ITV name for another six years.The last ITV Schools programme

on Channel 4 aired on Monday, 28th June, 1993.  



Presented by Oliver McGilloway. 

Facilities provided by Northland Films.

An Ulster Television Production. 



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