McGilloway's Way: The Orchard County

McGilloway's Way: The Orchard County

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Armagh, Gosford Forest, Lough Neagh




September 1994


25min 13sec







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, Vinny Cunningham

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ITV, Northland Films ltd

It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


This episode of McGilloway's Way features County Armagh, with abundant apple orchards, a forest park and a local drum-maker. Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, with the famous for St Patrick's Cathedral found within the city. Undoubtably, the county has benefitted from the waters of Lough Neagh and has created an environment which is well suited for plant growth.

The footage begins with the owner of a large apple orchard, Peardar MacNeice, showing McGilloway around his orchard - which was originally planted in 1865 by his ancestor. MacNeice touches on modern approaches to orchards, though the focus is on the traditonal, with the original orchard centred around a well. Apple trees found within the orchard range from the Golden Noble to the Norfolk Royal, with the latter taking twelve years before the plant bears fruit, due to the branch needing to hang down. 

Following this is an interview with Donald Whiteside at Gosford Forest. Here, the viewer is told about the squirrels are commonly found in the forest. However, in comparison to the multitude of grey squirrels, there are only five pairs of red squirrels known to inhabit the forest. Therefore, grey squirrels are controlled in forest parks, as they have a detrimental effect on the surronding habitat, damaging hardwood trees for their sweet sap and eating nuts from the trees before they are ripe, thereby taking a food source away from the red squirrel. Also featured in the programme is an informal chat with local wildlife enthusiast Melvyn Willis, who sells in his shop several gadgets to attract both birds and foxes.

Wrapping up the episode is Richard Sterritt who talks the audience through the process of preparing a goat's coat, to make it ready for a lambeg drum - a process which is 'steeped in hertiage and folklore'.


Oliver, or Olly McGilloway as he was widely known, was the presenter of McGilloway's Way. The series was unexpectedly cut short due to McGilloway's untimely death in 1994. The programme was relaunched as Lesser Spotted Ulster. With Joe Mahon as presenter, it continues to be broadcast today.


Presented by Oliver McGilloway.



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