Saturday, 8.10am


Saturday 18th February

Making money from chicken manure

Declan O’Connor spoke to Damien about his company BHSL.

Living with no electricity or running water

Brenda Donohue met Margaret Gallagher who lives in a cottage with no running water or electricity. She maintains her traditional rural lifestyle is the secret to her happiness.

Tara McCarthy, new Chief Executive of Bord Bia

Tara McCarthy spoke to Damien in her first broadcast interview since taking over from Aidan Cotter as Chief Executive of Bord Bia.

Are supermarkets and consumers killing our supply of Irish vegetables?

Suzanne Campbell took a look at why it's hard to find Irish produced vegetables.

Farmers waiting on GLAS payments

Padraig Corcoran, a farmer in Roscommon, explained his particular case and Caitriona Murphy of The Irish Farmers Journal, who has been writing about this issue, gave us the background.

Saturday 11th February

Mary McEvoy

A tour de force, Mary McEvoy is currently starring in John B Keane's play The Successful TD with Jon Kenny. There are just the two of them on stage, Jon playing Tull McAdoo & Mary his long suffering wife, Betty, plus Mary drifts into other characters too.

Climate Change

Damien brings us a report from this weeks Agricultural Science Association conference on Climate Change. A very important subject which Countrywide will be returning to over the coming months because there are lots of opinions from many other stakeholders on this important issue facing us all, but in particular which will impact more & more on farming.

Brenda Donohue & Etiquette

If you don’t know what etiquette is well we have our reporter Brenda Donohue here in studio with Damien, to tell us that there is a school to teach you & how she met Mary Coleman, a farmer who came up to Dublin this week to learn etiquette!

Reminder - Avian Flu

Yesterday there were 2 further cases of H5N8 confirmed - a grey heron in Midleton, Co. Cork & in a mute swan in Lough Eorna, Co. Tipperary, (in the same area as previous cases in whooper swans). This brings the total of wild bird positives to 8 - The Department of Agriculture have asked us to ask people who own so called backyard flocks to house them or if you have any questions to contact the Avian Flue helpline. Avian Influenza Helpline: 076 106 4403 and Outside of Office hours: 1850 200 456

Dr Pamela Byrne - Food Safety Authority of Ireland

The role of the food inspector must be a very interesting one, especially if the 2016 report of the Food Safety Authority is anything to go by! Joining Damien in studio this morning is Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

PJ Nolan - Dairy Farmer

Navan dairy farmer PJ Nolan is up & about milking & kind enough to take a call from us this morning. Damien congratulates him on been elected onto the new look executive of the Olympic Council of Ireland & PJ tells us how it all came about.

Saturday 4th February

Family Business

3 weeks ago our reporter Brenda Donohue was in Loughrea with the McInerny’s who have been continually in business for 4 generations, so we asked were there many family businesses out there who could beat that! Here we have some of those who answered the call! Mentioned above are Michael Johnson, Tullow, Co Carlow - Majella Jones Supervalu, Miltown Malbay, Clare Hazel Hodgins John P Hopkins, Wickow Town & Lonan Burke, PBourke & Co. Carrick on Suir.

Shed Scam

Farmers! Beware of people offering you cheap farm sheds because if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Caitriona Murphy is deputy News Editor of the Farmers Journal & for the last 2 weeks she has been following the story of a man going around the country offering to construct farm sheds & at very competitive rates - the only problem is, there dosen’t seem to be any sheds at the end of it! We have Catriona in studio to outline the scam, how it works & the scale of it & joining on the line from Portlaoise is Pat Enright, President of the Irish Association of Steel Fabricators

Clann Credo - community loan finance

In studio with Marty is Brenda Donohue & the CEO of Clan Credo, Paul O Sullivan. This week Brenda visited The Rathmore Social Action Group in Kerry to see one of the projects that Clann Credo Community Loan Finance has helped. Paul O’Sullivan will explain how it all works. For further information go to

The O'Neill Sisters

You may remember last week that we had the Murphy’s from Kerry in to sing, they are 3 sisters from the Kingdom & guess what? We have 3 sisters from the Kingdom here again to sing for us - but they are called the O’Neills, Fiona, Naomi & Evangeline.

Saturday 28th January


Cindy, Candy and Pat- 3 of The Murphys are with us this morning singing The Empty Room and talking to Marty. The band are from Killorglin in the Kingdom of Kerry and have already topped several of the Country and Folk Itunes charts. Their CD is titled Breaking Ground.


Maura McElhone is a young professional woman who has travelled the world working and, along the way, looking for love. When she came back to Ireland she fell for a farmer and indeed, Falling for A Farmer is the name of her blog. Maura recorded a special piece for us and we expect regular updates as she falls into the on farm life.


A bad week for anybody keeping poultry, be it Chicken, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys and even game birds like pheasants.- because a new strain -H5N8 -of avian influenza (bird flu) has arrived on the island, having been found in 4 wild birds to date - just this week 10,000.


Marty was at the Coiste Siamsa, the Garda Sports Star Awards in Ballincollig Cork last night & caught up with David Clarke, the Mayo Goalkeeper, Paralympian cyclist Eve McCrystal along with the Garda crew who rowed across the Irish Sea to raise money for Cancer research after the death of Chris Byrne, husband of Garda Caroline Byrne. To date they have raised over €100,000.


The Post Office in Laragh/Glendalough, Co Wicklow is about to close, despite 1.5 million visiting the area. Suzanne Campbell, our woman in the Glens of Wicklow talked to the residents about this and they are not happy.

Saturday 21st January

Growing Tobacco in Ireland

Harry Everard from Kilsheelan, between Carrick-on-Suir & Clonmel aims to make Tipperary the home of the Irish cigar. He has already secured a licence from the Revenue Commissioners for the growing & handling of tobacco & has produced two crops to date.

Teresa May - free movement between North & South

Teresa May's Brexit speech makes clear UK commited to ensure free movement & does not want to see borders of the past in relation to N. Ireland & the Republic of Ireland. Damien speaks to IFA President, Joe Healy & Barclay Bell, President of Ulster Farmers Union.

IFA Annual General Meeting

Brexit is probably the biggest issue facing farming in Ireland 2017 but what about other issues? Damien spoke to farmers at the IFA recent AGM.

South East Women in Farming

Women are great multi-taskers but do they have the skills, strength and know-how to calve cows as well as all the other farming tasks? This week a new group was launched in Carlow aimed at supporting women in farming, called South East Women in Farming.

Marraige Proposal

Anna Martin was shocked when her boyfriend of three years got down on the farmyard and surprised her with a cow proposal on Christmas eve.

Saturday 14th January

Ian McDonagh - BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition concludes later today in the RDS. In studio with Damien is a student who is taking part for the second year in a row, Ian McDongah, is a 15 year old 3rd year student from Merlin College in Galway, to tell us about his 'scientific investigation of the cures & folkways of the Irish Traveller'.

Rural Isolation - Keep the home fires burnng

The GAA social initiative began 9 years ago to help combat people living alone & in isolation in rural areas. Damien goes to Cavan to speak to Tom Reilly there, whose project 'Keep the Home fires burning' a spin off of the GAA social initiative in West Cavan, to also tackle rural isolation.

Alan Matthews, Professor Emeritus of Euro Agri Policy in Dept of Economics, TCD

European farmers receive almost 60 billion euro in subsidies from Brussels annually - Irish farmers share around 1.5 billion euro of this with the vast majority dependent on this farm support to make a living as the commodities they produce are sold far below cost of production. However in the EU Parliament a leading expert on the Common Agricultural Policy warned that the days of uniform, area based payments paid to farmers have no place in a modern agricultural policy.

McInerney in Loughrea - Brenda Donohue

More than three quarters of businesses in Ireland are family owned but less than a third actually make it through to the next generation. But what about a family business that has made it through, not only the second, third generation but the fourth? Brenda Donohue visited one such business in Loughrea, Co. Galway - McInerneys General Merchants Store.

Bord Bia announces growth in export sales of Irish food & drink

This week Bord Bia announced record export sales of Irish food & drink internationally of over 11 billion euro in 2016. It is the 7th successive year of growth in the value of sales - despite the effective wiping of 500 million euro of sales to the UK in the 2nd half of the year, representing a 41 per cent growth in exports since 2010. Are the primary producers, farmers getting a kick back? Joining Damien on the line are Edmund Phelan, beef farmer in Co Waterford & ICSA beef committee chairman & Liam Dunne, a tillage farmer from Kildare & IFA grain committee chairman.

Saturday 7th January

2017 for Farmers & Agricultural Sector

So the start of another year, what does it have in store for our farmers & agricultural sector. CAP, Brexit & farmgate prices are the big issues & joining Damien in studio this morning is Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Farmers Journal & Mairead McGuinness, FG MEP.

Singer Donna Taggart

Damien is joined now by Co Tyrone singer Donna Taggart, who looks back as 2016 as a sensational year for her. Her song, Jealous of the Angels became an online hit with nearly 70 million views, reaching No 1 in the US iTunes Easy Listening Charts.

Wicklow Way Wines

With leading wines from parts of New Zealand, California, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa & Chile - the one thing they have in common is the weather to grow the grapes to make the wine. That's why we don't make it in Ireland or do we? Suzanne Campbell joins Damien in studio to talk about an enterprising Co Wicklow couple who have launched a strawberry & blackberry wine, made with Irish fruit.

Nollaig Na MBan - Listowel

Brenda Donohue marks the 6th January, marking the end of the 12 days of Christmas when many women who worked so tirelessly over the festive period, have their own celebration! Brenda joined one such group & danced the night away in John B Keane's Bar in Listowel, Co. Kerry.

Saturday 17th December

Countrywide goes Festive

With 8 days to Christmas, Countrywide goes festive with a Christmas Special - festive songs & carols from Our Lady's Choral Society, Christmas Fesitval Orchestra with conductor Prionnsías Ó Duinn & lots of special guests - Ted Walsh, Catherine Leyden, Paddy Cole, Anna Geary, Mairead Lavery & Seamus O'Rourke to talk about Christmas & the year just gone.

Saturday 3rd December

Pair Trawling

The Irish Wildlife Trust brought th eissue of Pair Trawling to our attention, by calling for a ban in inshore bays & estuaries. Padraig Fogarty Campaigns Officer of the Irish Wildlife Trust & Hugo Boyle of the Irish South & East Fish Producers Organisation join Darragh.

Pheasants - Martina McGlynn

The pheasant shooting season is well underway since November 1st. Martina McGlynn went out with members of Mount Lucas gun club in Offaly to participate in a tradition that is centuries old.

Race Jockey Training

Across the country many eary mornings are being put in mucking out stables as the national hunt season gears up towards the big Christmas meetings in Ireland & the UK. Suzanne Campbell joins Darragh in studio.


The last installment of this year's Farm Payment from the EU began this week, 30% of the single farm payment as they are now known is dependent of environmental measures or greening in farm speak. But questions are being asked across the water in the UK as to why 100% of the billions of subsidies that are pumped into farming aren't dependent on environmental measures? On the line we have Ian Hodge, Prof of Rural Economy in Cambridge University & Joe Healy, President of the IFA.

Saturday 26th November


A planning application for what will be the biggest pig farm in the UK from farmer, Derek Hall in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, that will house 15,000 animals has been approved despite vocal protests from local residents. Allan Preston of the Belfast Telegraph is on the line to tell us a little bit more.


Almost half of Irish households are likely to buy a real Irish Christmas tree this year, with over 350,000 trees expected to be sold throughout the country in the run up to the big day. Brenda Donohue travelled to Tralee in Co. Kerry to meet Christmas tree grower, Paudie Sugrue, who has a novel way of weed control on his plantation!


Recently 270 working snail farmers & potential future farmers attended the Naional Snail Farming Conference in Tullamore. It was organised by the Nat Organic Training Skillnet. Our reporter Louise Denvir went there & met some of these snail farmers.


We have all heard of the serious decline in the number of corncrakes that are breeding in this country & measures to protect them. But what about another species of wetland bird, which is also under threat, the Irish curlew. Frances Shanahan travelled to Banagher in County Offaly to meet Anita Donaghy of Birdwatch Ireland.


Yesterday the Irish Field told us that Ireland's top show jumping horse, MHS Going Global, was soldto Greek shipping heiress Athina Onassis in a multimillion euro deal. Irish Field's Woman in Tipperary Catriona Murphy joins Daragh in studio & on the line we have former owner of MHS Going Global, Greg Broderick of Broderick's Ballypatrick Stables.

Saturday 19th November


Food & Farming reporter Suzanne Campbell joins Damien in studio this morning to talk about rabbits, the scourge of many farmers who say they eat young crop & trees, but they were once a key part of the Irish diet. Suzanne also visited a furred game workshop in Macreddin, Wicklow to learn how to cook & prepare rabbit & hares for eating.


US President elect Donald Trump dosen't believe in climate change so much so that there is fear he could rescind America's support of Paris Climate accord. Joining Damien is Denis Naughton, Minister for Communications who was at a recent UN Climate Change summit in Marakech this week.


Damien speaks to Will Kane who lead the Yes Vote in the recent campaign for marraige equality. Will is a 36 year old beef farmer in Co. Roscommon which was the only county that voted No. Will also featured in a TV Documentary 'The only gay in the Village' & Damien visited his farm last week.


The explosion in protein treats has accelerated over the past couple of years, migrating from sports shops & gyms to the mainstream sweet counter. What is so special about these bars. First a report from Diarmuid McIntyre & joining Damien in studio is Criona Tobin who is a performance nutritionist working with many of Ireland's top track & field athletes.

Saturday 12th November


Jacks Old Cottage is in Islandeady, Co.Mayo whose owner is Joe Moylette. Brenda was there earlier this week & met with him and retired Ag Inspector Michael Fitzsimons and Mildred Byrne fill in the dots as Mildred conducts the line dancing class. Brenda joins Damien in studio to tell us all about her visit to Jack's Old Cottage!


With 46 years in the entertainment business and still going strong legend Red Hurley popped in to see us early this week for a chat & performance of a song, Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.


In its day the Dublin Livestock Market was the biggest market in Europe. Declan O'Brien, journalist with the Farming Independent is currently researching the market for his PHD & last week won an Agriguild award for an article on his work. Louise Denvir spoke to Declan this week & some of those who remember the market which closed in 1973.


Nebraska farmer & broadcaster Trent Loos and old friend of the show speaks to Damien about the part of America it seems that we have not been subject to during the mainstream coverage of the US election campaign that would include rural America and farming country with his views on Trumps win.

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Contact the Show

Text: 51551

Presenter: Damien O'Reilly

Producer: Ian Wilson


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