Moneymore features in next ‘Mahon’s Way’

Joe Mahon returns to UTV on Sunday night (October 9) at 7.30pm with ‘Mahon’s Way’ and he’s travelled to Moneymore to uncover some amazing facts.

He joins an archaeological survey at the site of an important discovery, gets the lowdown on a most unlikely war hero, and finds out about drinking habits in the 1600s.

Joe joins archaeologist Professor Audrey Horning and a group of PhD students at the graveyard of the old Desertlyn church. They already know that they are in an early medieval monastic settlement which contains the ruins of a later medieval church, but they are more interested in what appears to be some kind of regular-shaped raised area surrounded by an embankment, because they believe it to be a military fortification which was constructed here exactly 420 years ago and which has been “hiding in plain sight” as Audrey puts it, ever since.

The busy crossroads town of Moneymore was built by the Drapers Company in the early 1600s as part of the Londonderry Plantation, and the street plan that was laid out at that time, designed for horse-drawn vehicles and a largely pedestrian population, has changed little since. Audrey Horning has done a lot of research on Moneymore’s earliest days and provides us with some fascinating insights into the pub culture of the 17th century.

Joe Mahon and local historian Kevin Johnston at Moneymore.

Local historian Kevin Johnston introduces Joe to the remarkable story of Fr James Stuart, a native of Moneymore who became a Columban missionary priest and who found himself in what was then called Burma during World War II. Because of his knowledge of the native language and his standing among the local people he became an invaluable ally of the US forces in their campaign against the Japanese. As a result of his endeavours, he was hailed as a war hero and was decorated by both the USA and British governments.

‘Mahon’s Way’ is produced by Westway Film Productions for UTV, and supported by Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund. The series is sponsored by Warmflow Engineering.

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You can watch this episode on Sunday, October 9 at 7.30pm on UTV and afterwards on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes

Joe Mahon and Professor Audrey Horning in Desertlyn old graveyard.
Kevin Johnston, Charlie Stuart and Joe Mahon at Moneymore.