Documentary on One

Border Beliefs

As the numbers decline in followers of the traditional faiths, we explore the recent arrival of many diverse religions along the border counties of Ireland.

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4.5/5 (54 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Kevin McCann

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Documentary maker: Liam O'Brien

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Border Beliefs

For centuries, the Catholic and Protestant churches have dominated the religious landscape of Ireland, north and south. Until recently, ‘everyone went to Mass or to church’ and few could have predicted the ‘catastrophe’ which saw congregation numbers fall by up to two-thirds.

For many people, religion was an inherited identity - more than it was a chosen spiritual path or expression of faith. It labelled you; it was part of your nationality; it placed you in the majority or in the minority, and it caused a kind of apartheid. This label aided the separation of neighbours, the division of communities and perhaps caused more division than any man-made north/south borderline.

Kevin McCann travels within a 25 mile radius of his home town of Belturbet and visits a Hare Krishna Island Community in Fermanagh, a Celtic Shaman in Leitrim, a Tibetan Buddhist Centre and Jehovah Witness Hall in Cavan, and many others who hold non-traditional beliefs.

Newcomers tell their story of why they came to the area and the welcome they received. Locals who have changed their faith reflect on their challenging experiences.

Narrated and Produced by Kevin McCann

This documentary was funded through the Sound and Vision Scheme run by the BAI.

First broadcast: June 16th, 2012

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