Lámhdhéanta [Handmade] is a four part series presented by Mary Brophy that goes in search of some of our forgotten skills and traditions, and tells the stories of the people who practice them in Donegal today. Recording them at work, and getting hands on, the series reveals the depth of history of these skills in the county, the influences that shaped its development and celebrates the passion and skill of the people who, with practice and care, keep these traditions alive in the 21st century. From carving in stone to painstaking weaving work of the iconic Donegal tweed, this series tells the story of a legacy of craft and skill in Donegal. In conversation with artists, archaeologists, folklorists and historians.
Episode 3 Thatching The thatched Irish cottage is the Chocolate box image of rural Ireland but this vernacular architecture of which there are only about 1,500 remaining is a complex store of social, local and family heritage. We trace the history of thatching, as Mary is apprenticed to Donegal Thatcher Brian Lafferty of Redcastle as explore how economical vernacular building is and learn the thatching styles particular to the county. With three foot walls and thick roofs, they conserve heat and are made of sustainable, local materials. In Donegal, maram grass was often harvested from the sand dunes to make the thatch.