New cross border life on Lough Foyle

There was a great wee programme on Radio 4’s Open Country today about the revival of life at the head of Lough Foyle. East Ulster folk may not know it, being generally more parochial than us northwesterners, but a transformation has been wrought by the opening of the car ferry service half dozen years ago between Magilligan point and Greencastle. Along with the ferry has come the revival of the three hundred tradition of Foyle punts, the development of mussel farming, a fair tourist trade and the considerable local and cross border impact of the shortcut to what is still a pretty depressed part of Donegal. For me taking the ferry was quite a culture shock. In the old days, if you were driving from the direction of Calvinist Coleraine to Catholic Greencastle and north Inishowen, you had to go 30 miles through the decompression chamber of Derry and up a further 20 to Greencastle. The mile wide channel is international waters ( yes Gregory), still bordered on the Co Derry side by the Army firing range and the old Magilligan internment camp still a prison today. But I’ll suppress those memories of the Saturday before Bloody Sunday. New links, new life instead.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]The mile wide channel is international waters”[/i]

    Google maps states it’s the North Channel. I’m not too sure how far the North channel goes up, but if Irish expansionism is anything to go by, it won’t be there much longer. Did anyone know that the Irish sea wasn’t called the Irish sea until the Republic gained independence. They even want the friggin seas named after them, sad pack of MOPES.

  • foreign correspondent

    Inishowen is a beautiful part of Ireland, perhaps all the more so for being generally so neglected by tourists. I recommend the beautiful coastal walk between Moville and Greencastle, for example. It´s just a pity that it is situated in the almost perpetually overcast Northwest…

  • Happypaddy

    “Did anyone know that the Irish sea wasn’t called the Irish sea until the Republic gained independence. They even want the friggin seas named after them, sad pack of MOPES.”

    Get your facts right it has been know as the “Irish Sea” from Roman Times and maybe even before that. Roman Name : Oceanus Hibernicus.

  • foreign correspondent

    And in any case it is fatuous to give out about the IRISH Sea unless you object about every single other example of not strictly accurate geographical nomenclature, like the ENGLISH Channel, for example.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Get your facts right it has been know as the “Irish Sea” from Roman Times and maybe even before that. Roman Name : Oceanus Hibernicus.”[/i]

    Oceanus Hibernicus does not translate into Irish sea. Hibernia translates as wintry, so the Irish people are the wintery people (lol) and the Oceanus Hibernicus is the wintry sea (lol). There’s the rub, Irish is an invention not to be confused with classical names.

    Forgetting the classical names of the sea, before Irish Independence there was no Irish sea, it was called by another name. I forget what name, it’s been so long ago since I seen the orignal maps.

  • Dewi

    Hell Brian – you know how to start things!

  • “being generally more parochial”

    Dunfanaghy, to the west, was formerly known to the cognoscenti as Ballymoney-sur-mere and to the rest of us as Cowtown-on-sea.

    My late Presbyterian next door neighbour came from near Redcastle, hiring fair style, to the Kingdom of Moyle in the late 1940s.

  • StarHound

    A barney over the name of the Irish Sea and ‘Irish Expansionism’?

    Do the Slugger Awards have a ‘Biggest and most Obscure Chip on the Shoulder’ section? I may need to put some money on…

  • A N Other

    UMH,

    You REALLY need to get out more.

    …As a starter, can I suggest that you play in the M2 traffic for a (short) while?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    as long as they keep their Irish sea South of the border there should be no problem. but with the Irish you just can’t tell what they’re happy with. Thankless breed of Britons.

  • foreign correspondent

    ´as long as they keep their Irish sea South of the border there should be no problem.´

    But seeing as Inishowen contains the most northerly point in Ireland, Malin Head, don´t you want them to keep ´their´ Irish sea north of the border in this case, Mr. Homeland??? 🙂

    PS The view from Doonreagh down Lough Swilly is amazing too. And coming down into the Culdaff area from the Mam Pass. Sniff. If the climate was better I nearly would move there, but that´s about as likely as having sensible rational discussions on Slugger lol.

  • Forgetting the classical names of the sea, before Irish Independence there was no Irish sea, it was called by another name. I forget what name, it’s been so long ago since I seen the orignal maps.

    Is that Ulster-Scots for “I’m talking ballicks, have been called out on it, feel slightly embarrassed and am desperately flailing around for an excuse.”

    PS The view from Doonreagh down Lough Swilly is amazing too.

    Nice views from Gortmore looking the other way too.

    And from Tamlaghtard too.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]But seeing as Inishowen contains the most northerly point in Ireland, Malin Head, don´t you want them to keep ´their´ Irish sea north of the border in this case, Mr. Homeland??? :-)”[/i]

    I’m not interested in what the people of Inishowen want to call themselves. They can be Irish/Polish/Hungarian/Scottish/Welsh and Irish for all I care.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Is that Ulster-Scots for “I’m talking ballicks, have been called out on it, feel slightly embarrassed and am desperately flailing around for an excuse.”[/i]

    Aye, you you’re talking shit Sammy, but howl on a minute, hope you haven’t any grievance against the Ulster-Scots language Sammy?

  • ggn

    UMH,

    You know for a wee while you actually had me!

    Fair play, there has to be a prize for the biggest wind up merchant in the history of Slugger!

  • lamh dearg

    Helen Mark used to (maybe still does) live near Limavady so I’m sure she knows the area well.

    I enjoyed the program but thought they overdid the “the areas own little peace process” bit about the ferry.

    Interesting to hear about the perpetual pressure on the fishermen of the area, white fish banned, salmon banned, so now seeding mussel beds.

    mmmm a bowl of Foyle Mussels in Kealy’s with a pint of Guinness………bliss

  • Dec

    There’s the rub, Irish is an invention not to be confused with classical names.

    Much like like England then if you follow that particular line of logic. So what’s your point?

  • joeCanuck

    if the climate was better…

    A local told me, straight faced, in a pub two years ago that it never really rains in Donegal, you just get an occasional shower.

  • Andy McInroy has some nice views of Inishowen

  • Oilifear

    “… before Irish Independence there was no Irish sea, it was called by another name.”

    Sadly, not to be out done, the feckin’ Brits had to go and make up “Northern” Ireland as well – where ever the f*ck that’s supposed to be … Iceland, I suppose!

  • Dewi

    The Welsh sea seems pretty quiet tonight from my window…..

  • Dewi

    Wonderful stuff Nevin – why are you a blasted unionist?

  • 9 County Ulster is my homeland

    Now that the ferry is running again the locals should consider a Greencastle/Magilligan GAA club competition and run it in conjunction with the Ulster club championship, as coming south into Derry isn’t such a hassle anymore.
    What a win by Tyrone by the way, the silence from Kerry is deafening. Seán Cavanagh has got to be the best full-forward in the country now.

  • The Welsh sea seems pretty quiet tonight from my window

    So does Carrickfergus Lough from mine…

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]UMH,

    You know for a wee while you actually had me!

    Fair play, there has to be a prize for the biggest wind up merchant in the history of Slugger!”[/i]

    It’s no wind up ggn. The old maritime maps (pre-independence) don’t show an Irish sea.

  • barnshee

    The ferry is getting a tad expensive. Its now £16 return with the decline in sterling my days out in Innshowen are becoming just too dear

  • Ulster is my homeland’s Wikipedia name!

    I’ll have you know that many of the fish swimming in this so-called “Irish” sea are in fact protestant.–feline1 09:57, 5 July 2006 (UTC)