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Bóthar Buck


Rossa Ó Snodaigh, (Kíla) attempts the Buck Whaley journey from Dublin to Jerusalem.

Two hundred and thirty  years ago, the famed Dublin adventurer Buck Whaley took on a bet against the Duke of Leinster and others that he could travel from his native city to Jerusalem, obtain proof that he had arrived there and return to Dublin within two years. It became one of the most celebrated wagers of all time and inspired a series of diaries and debate that have lasted to this day.

Some fifteen thousand pounds in total was wagered and Buck set off on his epic and very dangerous journey in 1788. Having met many dangerous characters and warring leaders along the way – and charmed most of them into giving him safe passage – Buck completed his journey, obtained the necessary proof, returned to Dublin within 36 weeks packed full of intrigue and adventure.  He collected on his bet and after he’d covered his costs, he netted a clear profit of £8,000 – a huge fortune in those days.

In this four part series, Dubliner, musician, eccentric and explorer, Rossa Ó Snodaigh, (Kíla) takes on the same challenge but with a difference. He has only 3 weeks to complete his journey from Dublin to Jerusalem and back and he must follow Buck’s path using his diaries as a guide. ‘Bóthar Buck’ will follow his journey.

As he travels over 11,000kms through 13 countries visiting the places Buck visited and meeting the descendants of the people he met, Rossa discovers how much Europe has changed in the last 230 years.


Produced by Dearg Films.

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