Sharon Shannon pictured during the filming of the 'Heartlands' travel and music series which will be broadcast on TG4 this month.

Sharon Shannon’s ‘Heartlands’ tv series set to feature Athlone

Athlone and surrounding areas will be featured in a new travel and music television series which is being hosted by Sharon Shannon and is designed to showcase the region marketed by Failte Ireland as 'Ireland's Hidden Heartlands'.

The four-part 'Heartlands' series commences on TG4 on Wednesday next, August 11. It shows the renowned Galway-based musician and her niece, Caoilinn Ní Dhonnabháin, as they explore the River Shannon region, filming in Cavan, Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Galway, Clare and Tipperary.

Of most interest to viewers in our area will be the second and third episodes, airing on August 18 and August 25.

In the second episode, after playing music with Nathan Carter at Richmond Harbour in Longford, Sharon travels to Athlone, spending time at Bay Sports in Hodson Bay.

In 2018, the Henshaw family joined forces with Sharon to record an album in aid of the South Westmeath Hospice, and she again meets up with the well-known Athlone family for "a chat and a tune" during the episode.

In the third programme in the series, Sharon moves on from Athlone and visits Helen Conneely's Celtic Roots Studio in Ballinahown, before heading to Clonmacnoise.

A music session at Luker's in Shannonbridge, featuring renowned accordionist Seamus Begley, will then be shown before Sharon travels to Portumna, visiting its castle and playing a tune with Mundy at the Pod Umna glamping village.

The series was created in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and is designed to showcase the variety of attractions on offer throughout the region.

"Heartlands is an exciting new series which fuses travel with music, uncovering a host of hidden gems along the River Shannon," commented Paddy Mathews, Fáilte Ireland's Head of Operations for 'Ireland's Hidden Heartlands'.

Sharon Shannon said: "It's only when you get a chance, like I have, to explore what's on our doorstep, that you truly realise the wonderful gems we have around Ireland and in particular along the River Shannon.

"It's been such a joy to be involved with this wonderful series, combining my great love of Ireland and music with Fáilte Ireland and TG4. I truly encourage everyone to go and explore for yourself the host of things to see and do along our very own River Shannon!"

TG4's Commissioning Editor Proinsias Ní Ghráinne, described it as a "highly entertaining and visually rich series" which "literally goes to the heart of Irish music and storytelling on the shores of the Shannon."