21st Century Ireland (01:58)
Gay marriage signals a cultural shift for a Catholic, conservative nation. Simon Reeve takes a ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare. The Republic of Ireland has 4.5 million people.
Ireland's Landscape by Air (04:04)
Mike O'Shay takes Reeve paramotoring. Reeve flies in tandem with Kester Haynes, an instructor. In 1169, Anglo-Normans landed at Bannow Bay; a church makes a statement of power.
Old Bannow Church (01:48)
An Irish chieftain invited Anglo-Norman mercenaries to help defeat his enemies— leading to centuries of colonization and subjugation by the English. Reeve explores the ruins of a Norman church. Fertile farmland attracted the invaders.
Irish Dairy Farming (03:38)
For millennia, Ireland has exported butter from the Golden Vale, spanning counties Limerick, Tipperary and Cork. Reeve meets farmer Pat Mulrooney who employs a robot named Gretchen to milk his cows. The cows come freely when they are ready to be milked.
Religion of Organic Farming (01:42)
Mulrooney cites environmental and ethical reasons for running an organic dairy. He says Ireland is no longer controlled by the Church; people are thinking for themselves.
Great Famine (03:46)
When the potato crop failed, evicted tenant farmers moved to common land. Landowners continued exporting food while a million starved to death; London failed to act. Local historian Pat O'Donovan shows Reeve a stone building that housed a family of seven.
Dingle Peninsula Potato Festival (03:21)
Before the famine, the Irish ate potatoes daily. Reeve joins a panel of judges tasting local varieties and participates in a peeling competition.
Irish Folklore (04:37)
In Limerick, Reeve meets Eddie Lenihan, who has collected stories passed down over generations. He campaigned successfully to divert a highway to preserve a bush used by fairies—thus averting disaster, he believes. Despite modernization, people still believe in little people.
Croagh Patrick (05:19)
Reeve drives up the west coast to Ireland's holy mountain to join pilgrims climbing on the last Sunday in July. A Filipina missionary says the faith remains strong, despite the Church's weakening. One man walks barefoot in the rain.
Crom Castle (04:55)
Reeve explains the Plantation of Ulster and tours an estate given to the Erne family by the English crown 400 years ago. Settlers built castles to defend against Catholic rebellion; Lord Erne says there has been reconciliation.
Derry Peace Efforts (04:19)
The Catholic population outnumbered Protestant settlers, leading to civil war. Since the Good Friday Agreement, the city has abandoned armed conflict. View People's Gallery murals in the Bogside neighborhood. Artist Tom Kelly discusses preserving the memory of Catholic lives lost.
Derry Playhouse (03:15)
Pauline Ross founded a public theater to bring Catholics and Protestants together. Students of the only local integrated high school share experiences of segregation; they want to move on from the Troubles.
Street Talk Project (02:00)
Elaine Ford tries to bring Catholic and Protestant youth together. Most participants are Protestant, and had never met Catholics before the project.
Malin Head (01:51)
Reeve drives north to the Inishowen Peninsula, crossing back into the Republic of Ireland. He reflects on the first leg of his journey around Ireland.
Credits: Ireland with Simon Reeve: Episode 1 (00:29)
Credits: Ireland with Simon Reeve: Episode 1
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