Combining glorious video footage from the Emerald Isle, fascinating travel destinations, exciting cultural experiences, and performances from Irish stars, Ireland with Michael explores the hidden treasures and majestic beauty of this breathtaking country – all from the comfort of home.
Ireland with Michael takes viewers to intriguing Irish destinations to learn about Irish history, meet local artisans, experience small-town pubs and food, and enjoy VIP access to unique musical and cultural experiences. Meet artist Joanie Madden from the long-running, Grammy nominated Irish American group, Cherish the Ladies, and singer Michelle Lally from the legendary Irish folk group Dé Dannan, as well as many more popular Irish singers, musicians, and rising Celtic artists.
Talented Irish native Michael Londra takes the viewer on an Irish adventure the only way he knows how; through music, song and dance.
Episode 1: The Rose of Mooncoin
Michael Londra tours the medieval city of Kilkenny with a stop to explore the old Kilkenny castle stables, which have been transformed to host local artisans. He meets violinist Patrick Rafter for a performance in the Great Hall of Kilkenny Castle and connects with friend Darren Holden, member of the group High Kings for friendly conversation along with playful banter about the rivalry between their Counties. Michael performs his favorite Kilkenny song, “The Rose of Mooncoin” in honor of his father.
Episode 2: Waterford Treasures
Michael visits various places throughout Waterford including Bishop’s Palace, the Museum of Silver, and the House of Waterford Crystal where he talks to skilled glassblowers about training to become masters of their craft. Waterford native, and singer Glenn Murphy performs the song “The Parting Glass.” He meets with the traditional music band Tulua and for a performance of polkas and reels. And stops by Stradbally Cove to meet sand sculptor artist Manu, who creates temporary Celtic designs in the long strand of the Copper Coast.
Episode 3: The Kerry Dances
The Dingle Peninsula is filled with small shops, must-see attractions, and skilled artisans. World Champion Irish dancer David Geaney, owns a pub in town where he performs for Michael. Michael sings a song on emigration and the land left behind. He visits Inch Beach to catch a wave, and cruises the coast following the Sea Safari to investigate the marine life that surrounds the Peninsula. A stop by Dingle Whiskey leads to a visit with Irish music legend Joanie Madden of the famed band Cherish the Ladies for a few tunes on the whistle.
Episode 4: The Galway Girl
Michael meets the quintessential Galway Lady, Michelle Lally – lead singer of Irish music legends Dé Dannan for a beautiful vocal performance. He tours Galway City with local historian Brian Nolan. In Connemara, the Gaelic-speaking region of Ireland, Michael meets musicians Seamus and Caoimhe O Flaharta who perform a duet of Sean Nós singing with the Wild Atlantic as their backdrop. On to South Galway for a private tour of the Lough Cutra Castle, and ends with a cooking class from Irish TV chef Andrew Rudd.
Episode 5: The Pirate Queen of Mayo
County Mayo is the birthplace of Michael’s grandfather. He drives to Achill Island to follow the life of Grainuaile (Grace O Malley – The Pirate Queen). From there it’s on to Westport House, a gorgeous mansion built on the site of the Pirate Queen’s former castle. The trail leads across the wild coast of Achill to discuss peat-harvesting on this boggy isle, tales of maritime legends, and to hear the slow airs of Joanie Madden. Michael stops at the North Mayo Genealogy Center at Enniscoe outside the town of Ballina to learn about his ancestry, and sings a song that was popular in Ireland during the time his great grandfather lived in Mayo.
Episode 6: The Land of Yeats
The episode begins in Sligo town, steeped in the history of Nobel Poet Laureate William Butler Yeats. Yeats’ scholar Susan O Keeffe discusses Yeats’ connection to the county, his importance in literature and his beautiful poetry in a tour of the Yeats Center, where Aileen Mythen sings “Down By The Sally Gardens” written by Yeats himself. Michael drives south to Thoor Ballylee where Yeats summered and a constant in his poetry. Michael heads on to the town of Mohill, to visit the gravesite of legendary blind composer Turlough O’ Carolan, meets Seamus O Flaharta who plays O’Carolan music on the Harp. He then visits the sprawling medieval estate of Lough Rynn and finishes with a trip to the world-renowned Belleek Pottery, founded by a local landlord to create employment during the Great Hunger.
Episode 7: Beyond the Pale
A tour of the Kilruddery Estate hosted by Lord Ardee of Meath who shows Michael his home which has been in his family for 400 years. Michael heads to a favorite spot, the National Stud, where world class horses are bred and trained. He tours the connected exquisite Japanese gardens, meets with his friend Aileen, and sings an old Dubliners song with her. Down the road he visits Powerscourt House and Gardens to explore the ornate fountains and statues and stops to taste Fercullen Whiskey paired with local artisan foods. Just down the road from the estate is Avoca Handweavers as well as the lavender fields used by Fragrances of Ireland to create their signature perfumes. He ends the day at Glendalough with a performance from Valda Chamber Choir.
Episode 8: The Mad Dash
In a wild compendium of sites around the country, Michael visits the shores of Loch Corrib at Ashford Castle, gets a lesson in making Guinness bread at the Ferrycarrig Hotel, tours the gorgeous Mount Congreve Gardens, and even meets the artistic director of Macnas, the creators of the fantastic puppet parades in Galway. He performs a duet of the song Maggie with tenor Glenn Murphy. He stops at Wells House to hear young Sean-nós performer, Iona Ritchie, to visit the Faery Forest located on its grounds, and to talk to storyteller Joe Brennan who regales him with ancient tales of the faery folk.
Episode 1: It’s a Long Way From Here to Clare
Singer Michael Londra, travels to County Clare to walk the Cliffs of Moher, to sample the pubs along the Wild Atlantic Way and to hear performances by One for the Foxes and the Kilfenora Céilí Band
Episode 2: Slaney Valley
Michael heads to his hometown on the Sunny South East. Known for their funny accent, their maritime history and most of all, their love of singing, Wexford people are unique. We see Johnstown Castle, the National Opera House and hear about the founder of the American Navy, Commodore John Barry.
Episode 3: May the Road Rise to Meet You
Michael heads to Lough Erne learning about its mystic past. He then meet musical legends Nathan Carter, Niamh Dunne and Sean Og Graham. On the way there is a stop at a gin distillery.
Episode 4: In a Neat Little Town They Call Belfast
Michael is back up north starting in Belfast where he meets Riverdance legend Jason O Neal and the Shamrock Tenors. There is a quick stop at the Titanic Museum before meeting Celtic Thunder singer Ryan Kelly in his hometown.
Episode 5: The Kilmore Carol
First stop is the fishing village of Kilmore Quay to learn about The Kilmore Carol and some Fish and Chips. Then on to meet NY Times Best Selling author Eoin Colfer to learn about and climb Hook Head Lighthouse. Michael visits the Kennedy Homestead, family farm of the Kennedy dynasty and recalls the influence JFK had on his own life.
Episode 6: Alive, Alive O
A whirlwind walking tour of Dublin starting in Trinity College founded in 1592 before meeting his friend Chloe Agnew of Celtic Woman fame to talk about her love of Ireland’s capital. We then get a performance of Dublin songs from Niall O Sullivan in Kilmainham Gaol and Brian Kennedy on the banks of the Royal Canal.