Joe Mahon’s Ulster Giants leaves no stone unturned in opening episode of new UTV series

A new series of Ulster Giants, which celebrates Northern Ireland’s rich civil engineering heritage, starts next week on UTV with presenter Joe Mahon travelling across Northern Ireland to uncover the inspiring stories behind the gigantic structures and the people who created them.

Geoffrey Perrin and Joe at the Strangford Stone
Geoffrey Perrin and Joe at the Strangford Stone

A new series of Ulster Giants, which celebrates Northern Ireland’s rich civil engineering heritage, starts next week on UTV with presenter Joe Mahon travelling across Northern Ireland to uncover the inspiring stories behind the gigantic structures and the people who created them.

Airing on Monday evenings on UTV at 8pm, Ulster Giants is produced by Westway Films in collaboration with ICE Northern Ireland.

In this his third series, Joe returns with another fascinating set of programmes celebrating the mighty achievements of the past that have transformed our daily living and reveals the cutting-edge technology that is shaping the future of our infrastructure. With the help of the experts in their fields, Joe reveals the stories behind some of Northern Ireland’s well-known landmarks and sheds light on how civil engineering is in operation quite literally beneath our feet!

In the opening episode of Ulster Giants, Joe is joined by Geoffrey Perrin (ICE Fellow and Past Chair) and William Morris as he visits Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh, County Down which is home to the largest monolith or standing stone in the UK and Ireland. Ancient civilizations throughout the world marked important occasions and cosmic events by erecting megaliths, often in circles or other formations, but sometimes as free-standing monoliths. There are over 30,000 megaliths in Europe alone but this one is quite possibly the most recent of them all.

Standing at 10 (or 1000 centimetres) metres tall, it was erected in 1999 to celebrate the beginning of the new Millennium. One thousand young people raised the 50 tonne Strangford Stone using only their bare hands - and a lot of scientific know-how. He speaks to the people involved in the original design and installation of the stone which was a feat in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.

Safety was a massive consideration, given that 1000 young people were to be on site pulling the stone upright by hand into position. It is certainly a very special monument, not only because it’s a Millennium Stone, but also because of the remarkable way in which it was erected.

You can watch this episode on Monday 6 July at 8pm on UTV and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes.

Full list of episodes

  • 6 Jul: Delamont standing stone
  • 13 Jul: Carrickfergus Saltmines / Flood prevention at Drumahoe
  • 20 Jul: Toome / Randalstown dualling – Croaghan Quarry
  • 27 Jul: Caledon & Sion Mills suspension bridges
  • 3 Aug: Carrick Castle re-roofing & Railway Preservation Society (Whitehead)
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