Friday 28 July 2017

Can you believe this is Ireland? TG4 viewers stunned by the Irish 'Planet Earth'

Humpback Whales off the coast of Ireland. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
Humpback Whales off the coast of Ireland. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
The common lizard of the Burren. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
The Golden Eagle. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
Basking Sharks. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
Play time. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4

Sasha Brady

TG4 aired a two-part series on Ireland's wildlife in a stunning documentary that's been winning rave reviews online.

Eire Fhiain has been dubbed Ireland's answer to Planet Earth.

With amazing wildlife footage and the knowledge and enthusiasm of director Eoin Warner, the two-part documentary gripped viewers as it brought to life the incredible natural wonders of Ireland's Atlantic realm.

The first episode, which aired last Wednesday, focused on the Skellig Islands, Kilkenny and the Blasket Islands. Viewers encountered Puffins, secretive Shearwaters, Humpback Whales, the last herd of ancient Red Deer in Killarney as rutting season commenced, Barn Owls and the common lizard of Ireland's limestone desert - the Burren.

Director and presenter Eoin Warner. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
Director and presenter Eoin Warner. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4

The team went to extraordinary lengths to capture the shots that transfixed audiences. Using the latest camera technology - night time, macro and slow motion - the scenes were probably better than some of the action movies we've seen this year.

And viewers found it hard to believe that this magic was captured in Ireland.

Puffins in Kerry. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
Puffins in Kerry. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4

The second and final episode, which aired last night, lived up to the promise of the first. Viewers who had been spellbound by the show's premiere had spread the word and encouraged friends to tune into the second episode as Twitter blazed with the #EireFhiain hashtag.

"One of the best Irish wildlife documentaries I've seen. Everyone should watch," wrote one user - a sentiment that was echoed by many.

The common lizard of the Burren. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
The common lizard of the Burren. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4

Eoin travelled across the sheltered Connemara Islands, in the last episode, before heading to Mayo to encounter some of Ireland's hardiest long-distance travellers - The Whopper Swans - who travel to Ireland every autumn to escape the bitter chill of Iceland.

Viewers also met Basking Sharkes, who are now thriving in Irish waters, Red Squirrels of Donegal and the star of the show, the Golden Eagle.

The Golden Eagle. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4
The Golden Eagle. Credit: Eire Fhiain / TG4

The overarching achievement of the show is reminding audiences how spectacular Irish wildlife is. There's a whole world of wonderment waiting to be explored, right on our doorstep. Something that should never be taken for granted.

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