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Saturday 24th September

Ploughing Montage

The National Ploughing Championships enjoyed another mega attendance in Tullamore this week. On Tuesday & Wednesday hosted two Countrywide roadshows with interviews & entertainment in the packed RTE Marquee.

Tillage Farmers

Farmers particularly those living in the west of Ireland are complaining that they are in the midst of a crises as a result of wet weather. There is talk of fodder shortage while hard pressed tillage farmers are going through their worst crises with poor weather creating poor yields to add to low global prices. Farmer Pat Brennan from Co. Longford joins Damien this morning.

Stolen Sheep

Two farming brothers from Co Waterford are offering a 2 thousand euro award for information about 103 sheep stolen from their farmland in the Knockmealdown Mountains some weeks ago. Damien speaks to John Barry whose sheep were stolen & in studio is crime prevention officer with the IFA, Colm Connolly.

Mount Briscoe Organic Farm

Margaret Edgill speaks to Martina McGlynn about running this family organic farm called Mount Briscoe, near Daingean, Co. Offaly.

The Holton Family

A family of seven by modern standards is large, a generation ago not so much, but even by Irish standards the Holton family fron Johnstown Bridge in north Kildare are unusual in that there were 17 siblings, 15 boys & 2 girls. They are about to break a world record by ploughing a field together next month to raise funds for brain cancer research. Damien O'Reilly met the family at Screggan this week.

Saturday 17th September

Ballynahinch Castle

There is a very strong connection to India in the West of Ireland in Connemara, where one of the country's most famous people lived during the 1920's. This report from Louise Denvir who spoke to Patrick O'Flaherty with Anne Chambers, whose book is called Ranji: Maharaja of Connemara.

Jack Bobo, Top Agric & Food Anaylysts

AS the world population grows, one of the big questions facing us all is, how do we produce more food from less resources in an environmentally & animal friendly way? Is Genetical Modification the answer? Darragh McCullough spoke to Jack Bobo.

NALA - Nation Adult Learning Agency

One in 6 Irish adults have issues with reading & writing while one in four have difficulty with numberacyskills. For farmers in particular, dealing with form filling, or tending to sick animals can be a huge struggle when they have poor reading & writing & numeracy skills, Damien is joined by Inez Bailey, Dir of NALA & also by Eamon who having struggled with learning got back to the education system thantks to NALA.

Nuffield Farming Scholarship

A few weeks ago you may have heard the BBC's Anna Jones on the programme talking about her Nuffield Farming Scholarship. A scheme that took her on a journey through Kenya, a country where more than three quarters of the population make some part of their living by agriculture. Maeve OKeeffe & fellow Nuffield Scholar Anna Jones reports.

Kerrygold Butter

Long overdue for hard pressed diary farmers, Jim Woulfe of Dairygold in this report from the opening of Kerrygold Park in Mitchelstown on Wednesday last.

Ploughing Championships - Frances Shanahan

Well it's All Ireland Football final weeked which also means the the National Ploughing Championships are within sight. On Tuesday next the three day event begins this year in Tullamore. This is a report from Frances Shanahan.

Saturday 10th September

Legends of the Showband Era

The Legends of the Cork Showband era are at the Cork Opera House on Sunday October 9th. The show stars Joe Mac of the Dixies, Declan Ryan of The Regal, the famous Tony Stevens, East Cork's own Crystal Swing! In studio are Art Supple & Terry Mac of the Dixies. Also joining Marty on the line is Joe MacCarthy.

Saturday 3rd September

Comedy duo - The 2 Johnnies

Comedy duo Johnny B. O'Brien & Johnny Smacks McMahon aka The 2 Johnnies, are from Cahir in Tipperary & they left Tipp at the crack of Dawn this morning to join Damien in studio this morning.

All Ireland Hurling Final Kilkenny v Tipperary

Tomorrow is the All Ireland Hurling Final & the rivalry between these two great hurling counties is as strong today as when they first played in 1887. Nowhere is this competition felt more keenly than along the border of these two counties & Brenda Donohue is pounding the pavement across the country as part of her exercise plan in Celebrity Operation Transformation. Her walk took her from Urlingford in Co. Kilkenny to Gortnahoe in Tipperary.

Straw Craft report by Frances Shanahan

We are coming to the end of harvest time when straw has been baled for animal feed or animal bedding in fields throughout the country. But cast your mind back when straw was also used for many diverse purposes, like thatching, furniture making & arts and crafts. Our reporter Frances went to Slieve Gullion Forest Park near Newry to watch a demonstration & met Nora Carville.

President of IFA Joe Healy

Its 10 months since the controversy in the IFA blew up. As the search goes on to find a successor to Pat Smyth who resigned as chief of the organisation, the IFA itself is battling an income crisis. A decision by the ABP meat processor gives the farmers the choice of opting IN rather than opting OUT of having a 1 per cent levy per animal stopped for the IFA.

Saturday 27th August

The Pine Marten

The Pine Marten is a tree living member of the stoat/weasal/otter family, a natvie mammal in Ireland which became almost instinct until it was made a protected animal in 1976. But it seems around Drumlish in Longford, local FG cllr Paraic Brady is quoted as saying that Pine Martens have killed his lambs & locals are concerned that one might attack a child if out of control. Paraic Brady joins us on the line from Longford & in studio is Eanna NiLamhna, well known naturalist & biologist.

Irish Food Fair - Killenure Castle

Marty is joined in studio this morning my our reporter Suzanne Campbell who went along recently to a colourful & tasty range of food from Irish farms which was exhibited at a recent fair in Killenure Castle, to bring chefs & food producers together.

Dublin v Kerry

Now there is no contest that so clearly brings out the Dublin v Rural Ireland divide than a Kerry/Dublin GAA Match. To gain an insight into this unique cultural phenomenon, Marty spoke to trud Dub & comedian Dave Young & Kerryman Billy Keane.

Saturday 20th August

Limerick Singer Muriel O'Connor

Marty is joined now by singer, entertainer & broadcaster Muriel O Connor. Muriel is recognised by her peers & audiences alike as one of the great Irish entertainers. She will also perfrom a hit duet 'Something Blue' with Fran Curry.

National Heritage Week - Frances Shanahan

As part of Nat Heritage Week, Baltimore in west Cork have a talk about ruthless & nasty pirates & the connection is - The Sack of Balitmore, one of the worst recorded acts of piracy in the 1600's in Ireland or Britain. Frances Shanahan went to Baltimore & brings us this report.

Dairy Industry - debt v income

In studio with Marty is John Garvey, Snr Lecturer in Risk Management & Insurance at University of Limerick. John has been looking at the expansion of dairy herds & milk production here following the end of quotas.

Saturday 13th August

Lee Matthews singer songwriter

In 2013, Lee Matthews became part of the country music scene in Ireland in the Country & Irish genre releasing two albums, A Little Bitty Country in 2014 & It's a Great Day to Be Alive in 2015, plus a string of singles releases. Lee sings in studio the hit of the Summer, The Famer Wants a Wife.

Olympic Games & Tipperary's Greg Broderick

Tomorrow Greg Broderick will enter the arena in Rio on his horse MHS Going Global in the first of 5 showjumping rounds to determine the medals at the Olympic Games in Rio. Suzanne Campbell met up with Greg before he caught his plane to talk about his preparations for the games. We are also joined on the line by Greg's father, Austin Broderick.

Bloody Sunday 1920

Marty is joined in studio by Jimmy Lynch, grandson of James Matthews killed in Croke Park on Bloody Sunday in November 1920. Also on the line is Michael Foley, Sunday Times journalist & author of The Bloodied Field.

Pig Farmer & hurler Shane Fives

This weekend in Semple Stadium the replay between Kilkenny & Waterford in the All Ireland Snr Hurling semi-final takes place & Marty went to visit Shane Fives at his pig farm in Co. Waterford.

Dermot Allen - Irish Pig Society

In studio with Marty this morning is Dermot Allen - Show Secretary with the Irish Pig Society & pig farmer at Winteavern Farm, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow. Dermot breeds a very rare breed in Ireland, Black Oxford Sandy & Black Pigs. He also has brought one with him into studio this morning to meet Marty!

Saturday 6th August

The full story of Bertha - the world's oldest cow!

We couldn't leave mention of Bertha's Revenge without the full story of Bertha, the world's oldest cow who died just 3 months shy of her 50th birthday in 1993. We bring you this clip of her 48th birthday, celebrated in style by Gay Byrne & a budding young broadcast talent....followed by historian, Turtle Bunbury to complete our story of Bertha.

Ballyvolane House & Bertha's Revenge Gin

Darragh travelled to the 18th century Ballyvolane House earlier this week, outside Fermoy in north Cork - a gorgeous spot that also happens to be making a gorgeous & very unique gin!

Sheep Shearing

During the week Donegal man Ivan Scott broke the world record for number of sheep sheared in 9 hours - 867 - which he achieved in Cornwall England. Darragh spoke to Ivan recently & also introduces 3 sheep shearing men who are going to do sheep shearing live here in Donnybrook, Chair of Ir Sheep Shearers Assoc., Tom Dunne, Aussie Geoff Coller who now lives in Kildare & PRO & Fermanagh man, Stanley Allingham.

Glenasmole in Dublin Mountains

NAMA & the Dept of Arts Heritage & Gaeltacht & the sale of land belonging to NAMA in Glenasmole, Suzanne Campbell went to find out if the sale of the National Parks & Wildlife is the best outcome for those who actually live there. Our food & farming reporter, Suzanne Campbell went to the valley to find out & spoke to sheep farmer, Donie Anderson.

Kilotteran Riding School - Frances Shanahan

For the past 51 years Joan O'Mahoney has been running Kilotteran Riding School on the outskirts of Waterford city. Frances Shanahan met Joan, who gets very attached to her horses & ponies & is reluctant to sell them, especially since the last horse sold became one of our best Irish show horse, Diamond Express.

Saturday 30th July

JONES THE JOURNO

Anna Jones works as producer and occasional presenter on BBC Radio 4's Farming Today, with whom we work closely, and as a director on Countryfile on BBC TV. She's over in Ireland working on her Nuffield scholarship project.. and Damien talked to her about Brexit and the perception of farming across the Irish Sea.

HURLEY MAKES HISTORY

Michael J. Hurley used to live in Baldoyle Dublin and so he wrote local history. Then he moved to Galway and now writes local history. He outlined to Louise Denvir the history of the old Fair of Turloughmore in Galway and the connection between Baldoyle and Galway races. For more on The Fair of Turloughmore check @LackaghHeritage

Vincent on 3 County Tour - Spot where!

Actually, it's the Cavan County Museum and Savina Donohoe, the Director, with Vincent Woods. Vincent has gone on a 3 county tour to make 3 special radio shows- The County Line - Saturdays at 10am for 3 weeks starting Sat Aug 6. Vincent explains it all to Damien.

MUSHROOMS

Damien went to Cavan ( surprise surprise) to meet Eugene Kiernan, the main man in Brefni Mushrooms. Established almost 30 years ago, with over 250 employees and 80 mushroom growing rooms, they supply 20 Tonnes of mushrooms per week to the Irish and British market.

VINTAGE STUFF

Vintage are a men's choir from Castlebellingham, Stabannan and environs in Mid Louth. Most of them are farmers or close to the food business, and they sing for fun and to raise money for local charities. One of the main men is Gerry Giggins, known for his beef finishing advice and Farm Tours Ireland busness.

Saturday 23rd July

CLIMATE SMART OR HEAD IN SAND?

Tom Arnold from the Irish Institute for European Affairs is in studio to discuss the Climate Smart Agriculture report they have jointly published with the RDS, and the latest EU Commission Greenhouse Gas targets. These targets oblige Ireland to cut agriculture emissions by 30% by 2030.

ORGANIC WITH SHACKLETON EXPLORIN

Jane Shackleton runs the Lakeview organic farm in Mullagh Cavan, and Louise Denvir went to visit her. The farm converted to organic 20 years ago.. and yes they are those Shackletons: Arctic explorer, Ernest is a cousin of her father, Jonathan.

NO BUSINESS LIKE AG SHOW BUSINESS

Proud winners and judges at the Orchard Equestrian All Ireland Yearling Filly Championship in Bridgetown With over 130 various agricultural/horse events, county shows and local shows, and a history going back hundreds of years in some cases, you might think Irish shows are in good health. Well, not quite. Michael Hughes is Irish Shows Association  National Sectretary and he deals with every show in the country. Michael Flanagan is a well known pedigree Angus breeder in Moydrum and is deeply involved in the Athlone show which took a hard financial battering this year.

FJORD MUSSEL OR KILLARY CRUSTACEAN?

Ireland exports 560 million euro in seafood every year. Mussels are a major part and they are farmed in coastal waters around the country. Quality and safety is controlled by the SFPA -Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. Suzanne Campbell went to Killary Fjord in Mayo, to meet mussel farmer Simon Kennedy, and see an inspection by Brian Nolan, National Shellfish Monitoring Office - backing up the weekly samples by local officer Siobhan Curran.

AN OFFALY CúLCOW

Cúlcow and Mellow Fig - Could be a bunch of hippies. Cúlcow Artisan Ice Cream is made on his suckler farm in Bannagher, Offaly, by James Kirwan. Hold on, suckler cattle don't produce milk! True, but James takes the milk from other local farms and makes the ice cream on farm. Damien met James delivering ice cream to the new Mellow Out shop in Blackrock Dublin and on the farm in Offaly. Mellow Out is a new outlet close to, and part of, The Mellow Fig.

Saturday 16th July

ADDICTED TO SPUDS

Now, over to South Wexford where Frances Shanahan paid a visit to John Fortune, currently harvesting his crop of early potatoes . And it’s a very different story to earlier this year, when he was planting potatoes in very difficult conditions, following that incessant rain throughout the Spring.

WRAP THE GREEN FLEADH AROUND US

With Geraldine Gregan - food scientist with O’Connor’s Bakery in Ennis, Ann Marie O' Connor (in white zipped uniform) and Anne Keniry. To Ennis in Clare to find out about the Greening of the Fleadh, by which we mean how the organisers of the Fleadh are taking serious steps to cut down the environmental impact of this huge annual event.. First off O’Connors Bakery, O’Connors are a long established family business in Clare . Karen Foley is the Environmental Awareness Officer for Clare County Council and Chair of the Green Fleadh Sub Committee.

THE SOUND OF MOOOO SIC

It is said that milking cows perform better with a bit of melody in their lives, so I headed to Pallasgreen on the Limerick Tipp Border to the dairy farm of Pat to check out this theory in the company of 2 and a half tenors.. 2 very tall guys and one slightly shorter.

BALLYHOURA

In Ballylanders in South Co Limerick a widower's desire to give himself ten more years with his young sons has turned into a phenomenal community effort. The 'Shed the Pounds' campaign now has 70 people across the Ballyhoura region battling, parish against parish, to get fit, lose weight & raise money for two children's charities, Cliona's Foundation & the Laura Lynn Children's Hospice. Mairead O'Connor of Grey Heron Media caught up with the group in Kilfinane, as they set out on one of their weekly walks.

SULKY LOT!

Trotting, sulkie racing or to give it the correct names - Harness or STANDARDBRED racing - is enjoying a growth spurt. Vet Peadar O'Scannaill is a fan & he joins Marty in studio this morning.

Saturday 9th July

Swimming in the River Boyne

Later today hundreds of people will gather to swim along the river Boyne. Louise Denvir reports on Darragh McCullough's 'dry run' from earlier this week as he swims along the 2.7 kilometre stretch of river!

Carol Drinkwater - West Cork Literary Festival

Carol joins Damien on the line to talk about All Creatures Great and Small, living and farming in France, her books and her upcoming appearance at the West Cork Literary Festival!

The Galway Garden Festival

Frances Shanahan visited the Galway Garden Festival earlier this week and spoke to Liam O'Meara about the art of air lairing as well as Michael White from Mount Congreve gardens.

Suzanne Campbell - Inishbofin

Food and farming reporting Suzanne Campbell visited Inishbofin to find out all about the island's wildlife, stories and heritage!

Teagasc 2016 National Beef Open Day

We spoke to some of the several thousand famers who attended the Teagasc 2016 National Beef Open Day in County Meath on Tuesday.

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Text: 51551

Presenter: Damien O'Reilly

Producer: Ian Wilson

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