Nationwide comes to Wicklow

On a beautiful sunny day in August last the Nationwide team visited the valleys of Glendasan and Glenmalure to interview former miner Robbie Carter, historian Carmel O’Toole and sheep farmer Pat Dunne to learn about the rich mining heritage of the three valleys. Award Winning poet Jane Clarke recited a number of poems she has written depicting the miners’ lives.

Robbie Carter spoke to Niall Martin, the RTE Nationwide interviewer about his years working in the Glendasan Mines in the 1950s, explaining the process that he and his mining colleagues went through to extract the lead ore from the Moll Doyle and Fox Rock mines. He also related the traumatic events of the January night in 1957 when Robbie was working in the tunnel with his colleague and cousin James Mernagh were caught up in an explosion in which James was fatally wounded.

In Glenmalure well known sheep farmer Pat Dunne was interviewed about the number of people who visit the Glenmalure area and Carmel O’Tooole showed Niall the results of a major conservation project on the Old Crusher House which was possible through funding from the Heritage Council and Coillte with input from the Glenmalure Pure Mile Group.

The Nationwide programme aired on 23rd October and devoted the half hour show to Wicklow, non only visiting Glendasan and Glenmalure but also Wicklow Way Wines who make strawberry and raspberry wines and are part of the Wicklow Food trail and the many walking routes and trails in the Wicklow Mountains. St Kevin and his founding of the monastic settlement in Glendalough was not forgotten either. Wicklow County Council’s Heritage Officer Deirdre Burns discussed future plans for the world renowned site.

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