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Gormley One to Watch on Bank Holiday Monday

Press release May 4, 2009 Public

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, has encouraged as many people as possible to watch the 2nd episode of the Secrets of the Stone series, which will be broadcast on RTE television on bank Holiday Monday (4th May) at 6.30pm.

The programme is the second of two one hour specials produced by RTE, which re-examines Ireland*s most iconic ancient monuments. *The series helps to separate myth from historical fact, and provides many new insights into life and landscape in ancient times*, the Minister said.

*The series reveals Ireland to be at the forefront of visionary ways of thinking in language and culture from ancient times, the Minister said, adding that *it is clear from it that we have punched above our weight from the dawn of time.*

The Minister said that he was pleased that his Department had been in a position to support the programme. *The sponsorship provided to the programme makers by my Department has facilitated distribution of a textbook on the series to every second level school on the Island*, the Minister said. *Ancient history reveals to us the depth and connectedness of our culture and belief systems, and any viewing of this series can but instil a sense of pride in place, and an increased self- belief that we as a nation can ride out the present storms, together*, the Minister added.

The series consists of two one hour specials. It was filmed in HD and is presented using state-of-the-art computer graphics. Episode 1 dealt with pre-history, and Ireland*s first people. The episode to be broadcast on Monday deals with the early Christian period.

The series and the book travels through time from the earliest dolmens to the Abbey of Mellifont and shows how sudden climate change can be a major factor in changing religious belief.  It discovers new information about some of Ireland's most important ancient monuments.


Sean Dunne

Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
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