Popular show to introduce Mayo to American and Canadian audiences

Michael London

US travel television show ‘Ireland with Michael’ is expected to feature Mayo as a vacation destination to an audience of 155 million people across the United States and Canada this month.

Michael Londra, the Emmy-nominated Irish singer-producer, hails from the town of Wexford and now resides in the United States. Michael hosts the travel show which airs on the PBS network in the United States and Canada.

In each episode, he takes viewers on an intriguing journey to popular and lesser-known Irish destinations to learn about Irish history, meet local artisans, discover small town pubs and food, and enjoy musical and unique cultures. It combines beautiful video footage of Ireland’s legendary landscapes, destinations, exciting cultural experiences and performances by Irish stars.

In the summer of 2021, the host and crew traveled to Mayo to film a full episode in the county.

Mayo is the birthplace of Michael’s grandfather and this episode is close to his heart, it begins with a road trip to Achill Island to follow the life of Grainuaile. From here head to Westport House, the site of the Pirate Queen’s former castle. Michael interviews the house historian, both in a common room and in the dungeons, and talks about the life of the nobility in the west of Ireland.

Grainuaile’s life story leads through the rugged Achill Coast, showing some spectacular Irish scenery (the Bronx is the next parish, unobstructed across the Atlantic). He talks about harvesting peat on this swampy island, tales of maritime legends and hearing the slow tunes of Joanie Madden.

Local band Billow Wood performs at Belleek Castle in Ballina and Michael stops by the North Mayo Genealogy Center in Enniscoe, outside the town of Ballina, to find out more about his ancestry from a genealogist and former local archaeologist.

Michael sings a song that was popular in Ireland when his great-grandfather lived in Mayo. The episode ends at the border between Mayo and Galway in the village of Cong. Michael learns how the movie “The Quiet Man” affected the village and revisits some iconic scenes and moments from the movie.

In another episode of the season, Michael explores the splendor on the shores of Lough Corrib at Ashford Castle, he gets an insider’s view of what it’s like to stay at the 5-star resort, including stories from the staff about the stars they encountered. years. Michael performs a duet of the song Maggie with tenor Glenn Murphy.

Speaking about the release of the new series, Michael said, “We are thrilled to release Season 2 of ‘Ireland with Michael’, the series was a huge hit in Season 1 with an audience of 75% of all US households. .

“It is an honor to shine a light on our greatest asset. Whether they are singers, dancers, poets, artisans or storytellers, our creators share their Ireland, in every episode of the show. I am so proud of the country and of the people who live there, it’s a joy to be able to share this around the world.

Pre-pandemic North America has been the fastest growing holiday market for Irish tourism, accounting for 33% of overseas revenue, I am very pleased to be able to support Ireland’s arts, tourism and from the hospitality industry and I really hope the show helps the recovery of international tourism in Ireland after the pandemic.

Aer Lingus, Tourism Ireland and CIE Tours are sponsoring the ‘Ireland with Michael’ series. Coming for 2023 is a new series 3 “Ireland with Michael”, which will be released in January 2023, and filming for these episodes will begin in March 2022. Currently the team is looking for locations and ideas to across the country, so if you think you or your city should be in Round 3, send your idea and contact details to [email protected]

The ‘Ireland with Michael’ series airs on PBS stations and can also be viewed internationally online via www.irelandwithmichael.com

Javier E. Swan