Irish Stallion Trail
The Irish Stallion Trail is happening at around 30 stud farms countrywide & Dave Keena brings us this report.
John attended a very poignant event in the Burren recently as local Lifeboat & Coastguard Volunteers led a small group to an area known as Lough an Uisce near Fanore along the North Clare coast. Local historian Joe Queally was his guide.
BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhib
Countrywide reporter Brian Lally went to see some of the more agri inclined projects in the BT YSTE in the RDS Dublin.
Fodder Crisis, CAP Budget and Brexit
It looks like 2018 is set to be an eventful & challenging year for farmers. Joining John in studio this morning to discuss some of the pressing issues facing Irish Food & Agricultural sectors are Justin McCarthy, Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal & George Lee, RTE Agriculture & Environment Correspondent.
Nollaig na mBan Panel
To celebrate Nollaig na mBan we have an all-female panel to celebrate the day that's in it.
Fiona Steed, former Irish Rugby women's captain
Jenny Huston, former DJ with RTÉ and jewelry designer with edgeonly.com
Paula Hynes, Dairy farmer
Suzanne Campbell, RTÉ Reporter
Sheena Dignam, Food blogger
Kylemore Abbey - Christmas special
This Christmas weekend Countrywide is broadcast from Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, Co. Galway along with special guests & music from soprano Annabella Lydon.
Singer Tommy Fleming
During the week our old friend Tommy Fleming dropped in to sing a Christmas song for us & have a chat.
Kilmallock Co Limerick
Cottage markets have come into being all around Ireland. Kilmallock started their Cottage Market in July which has now grown to 28 stalls. Last Saturday Daniel Clancy had a look around the Christmas edition of the Market in the company of founder Mary McDonnell.
Book of Memories - From Candy Store to the Galtymore
The Magic of that First Dance by Limerick woman Pauline Brew is published in the book From the Candy Store toto the book full of memories.
Countryfile is one of the most watched programmes on British TV & one of the most popular featues on the programme is the regular focus on Adams Farm. Adam Henson is a farmer with a huge mix of rare breeds of animal & he farms in the Cotswolds. He joins Damien from BBC studio in Bristol.
St Joseph's Shankill
St Joseph's is Ireland's First Dementia Village & the only care home in Ireland that solely cares for people living with dementia. One of the most populare activities is The Sweet memories Choir made up of residents of the centre along with family and friends. Brenda Donohue visited St Joseph's to find out more about this unique choral group.
Wexford farmer Patrick Kent was re-elected as the President of the Irish Cattle & Sheep Association winning a third term in office this week. Patrick is on the line to Damien to talk about the fodder crisis, Brexit, climate change & more.
Vegetable Man - Johnny Curley
Vegetable seller, Johnny Curley started selling from the back of his van, 45 years ago. That first week he sold one & half tons these days Curley Quality Foods distributes 400 tons a week of fruit, veg, spices across Ireland & into Europe.
The Butcher Shop - Suzanne Campbell
Sadly the story of butchers shops today is that they are closing down in towns right across the country while at the same time, Irish butchers are taking away the top food prizes in the UK & Ireland. Recently in London Hugh Maguire from Ashbourne was given the Supreme Champion Award for his smoked black pudding. Suzanne Campbell joins Marty in studio.
Colm O'Donnell - INHFA
The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Assoociation is the newest of the farming representative bodies, having been founded in 2015. The members felt that their particular area was not being well represented by the established farm bodies. Joining Marty from our Sligo studio is Colm O'Donnell, President of the INHFA.
A string of national awards and hit singles have firmly established her as the most exciting rising star on the thriving Irish country music circuit but it’s hard not to feel the best is yet to come from the Balinderry native. Cliona Hagan joins Marty in studio this morning for a chat & performance.
Jim Gavin - Dublin Manager
Jim Gavin, Irish Gaelic football manager & former player, has been the manager of the Dublin senior team since 2012, where he has since become one of the county's most successful managers in terms of major titles won. Jim joins Damien in studio this morning.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
This week the environmental Protection Agency pubished a report showing that Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions increased by 3.5% in 2016 with emissions from transport, energy & agriculture all increasing in that time. Joining Damien in studio is Cara Augustenberg of the European Friends of the Earth & from our Galway studio Joe Healy, President of the Irish Farmers Association.
Crowes Turkey Farm
With just a little over three weeks to Christmas, Damien visited the farm of John Paul Crowe in Dundrum County Tipperary & his flock of turkeys.
Reform of Common Agricultural Policy
Commissioner Phil Hogan attended the Dairy Day at Punchestown on Thursday & Damien caught up with him to talk about a number of issues including what his proposals for CAP will be.
Ros Na Rún - Brenda Donohue
The Tg4 soap filmed in Spideal, Co. Galway is now in its 22nd season with over 1600 episodes broadcast. Brenda Donohue recently visisted Ireland's only Irish language soap opera's set & crew.
Alternative Wedding Venues
Kenmare Livestock Mart - sounds like an ideal wedding venue!! Kenmare Co-op Mart manager Dan McCarthy believes he has hit on a novel new idea & he joins Damien on the line this morning along with manager of Cilin Hill Mart in Kilkenny, Michael Lynch.
64th World Ploughing Championships
Next weekend the World Ploughing Championships take place in Njoro Kenya & representing Ireland will be Eamon Treacy from Carlow & John Whelan from Wexford. On the line from Kenya is Anna Marie McHugh, General Secretary of the Wolrld Ploughing Association.
Dairy Day Punchestown
An estimated four thousand farmers attended the inaugural dairy day organised by the Farmers Journal in Punchestown on Thursday. Damien popped along with microphone in hand to chat to people there.
Point To Point Racing In Meath
Reporter Suzanne Campbell headed to Dowth Hall on the River Boyne where racing horses over fences has returned to the agricultural land that hosted point to points in the 1800s. The estate now hosts the Meath and Tara Harriers annual Point to Point and Country Fair
Gluten Free Food and Cooking
Dr. Eimear Gallagher recently gave a presentation as part of Science Week about gluten, gluten resistance and her book 'Gluten Free Food Science and Technology'. She joined us with Coeliac and Chef Gearoid Lynch author of 'My Gluten Free Cookbook'
Amateur Dramatics in Cashel
Last Monday night, there was plenty of nerves and excitement for the Cashel Choral & Dramatic Society, as they moved for the first time to the stage of the Brú Ború theatre for their dress rehearsal.
Surviving Farm Accidents
10 years ago Kevin McGarry was working on a huge dairy farm in New Zealand when disaster struck leaving him with both legs amputated. Later in the programme we spoke to Liam O'Keefe who survived a vicious Bull attack.
Glenstal Foods - Gareth Coleman
Joining us from our Cork studio is Gareth Coleman, Commercial Director of Glenstall Foods based in Murroe, before heading off to the trade mission with Minister Creed.
Trade Mission to South Korea & Japan
Agricultural Minister Michael Creed spoke to John before his departure today to South Korea & Japan, as the head of a trade mission of Irish companies & agencies like Bord Bia. In 2016 they imported 100 million euro of Irish food & Drink, representing 50 percent growth in 5 years - from seafood to ox-tongue & dairy to pork.
Scientists in Trinity College have launched a project called Nature Plus to link scientific research, business & sources of finance for the benefit of our environment. Professor Yvonne Buckley of Trinity's Zoology Dept is one of those behind Nature Plus & is in studio this morning with John.
Callan, Co Kilkenny - Brenda Donohue
Today in Callan they are having a daylong celebration of what makes the close-knit town so special. It's called 'We Are Callan: Alternative Census' & Brenda Donohue is there to speak to those taking part on this very different take on a community day.
The brutal beating & robbery of 54 year old Offaly farmer Richie McKelvey last weekend has sent shockwaves across rural Ireland once more & has led to Gardaí setting up a Special Taskforce to tackle criminal gangs in the midlands. Richie is now recovering at the home of his sister Annette Meacle who John met in Coolderry this week along with her concerned neighbours.
Dangers of Marts
Farms are dangerous places to work but marts are also becoming more & more dangerous. Heavy gates & wilder cattle are the lethal combination which is costing many marts thousands of euro every year in insurance claims. Ray Doyle of ICOS, Peter Gohery, a farmer involved in a farm accident & Ciaran Roche, FBD risk assessor join Damien on the line this morning.
Horse fairs are an integral part of Irish life & tradition up & down the country. Reporter Grainne McPolin went to Castleisland in Kerry & met people who brought their animals to the Main Street of the north Kerry town for good old fashion horse trading.
Remembrance Run Nov 12 - Phoenix Park
On Sunday 12th November in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, the Remembrance 5k is taking place allowing people a chance to come together & run or jog or walk in dedicated memory of loved ones who have passed on. Organiser & editor of the Irish Runner Magazine, Frank Greally is in studio this morning along with Maurice Lennon, fiddle legend of Stocktons Wing fame.
Dine in the Dark Week Nov 5 to 17
The National Council for the Blind are holding Dine in the Dark week from November 5th to 17th and restaurants across the county are participating in the fundraiser where customers eat a meal blindfolded. Suzanne Campbell went to dine in the dark this week at the Spencer Hotel in Dublin.
Key to Efficient Farming
A pair of one hundred percent cotton underpants could be the key to more efficient farming. It has been proven that burying underpants in the soil for a couple of months can tell a farmer all they need to know about the quality of the soil in a field. Joining Damien on the line to tell us more is Scottish farmer, Ian Green who happens to be in Ireland today judging a Simmental show.
Maureen Gaffney - isolation & loneliness
With the clocks going back tomorrow morning, in come the longer evenings which can bring an air of depression & anxiety on many of us as winter settles in. Damien speaks to psychologist Maureen Gaffney.
2017 Women & Agriculture Conference
The Women & Agriculture Conference was held in Tullow, Co. Carlow celebrating its 10th birthday anniversary & had a line up of speakers & entertainment over two days from David McWilliams to Maureen Gaffney to the Carney brothers & many more. Brenda Donohue navigated the conference, meeting some 750 women who attended.
Young farmers group CEJA Survey
A recent survey of young farmers across Europe reveals their concerns about the future of the industry with price votality & European policy the big reasons why young farmers say they don't know if they will stay the course farming. Janes Maes, President of CEJA & in studio James Healy, President of the Macra na Feirme, the young farmers association.
Global Food Forum in Italy
Who is getting the biggest slice of the pie - the farmer, the processor or the supermarket? In last week's Global Food Forum in Italy, this was one of the hot topics of discussion, fairness & transparency in the food chain & legislation that the EU commission is planning to bring in throughout Europe. Our food & farming reporter Susanne Campbell was there.
Fodder Crises in the West
Farmers along the west coast & north west are seriously worried that a fodder crises is looming. With so much forage & corn not harvested due to wet weather & with cattle already in due to soft ground, a stressful winter looms. Joining Damien on the line this morning are farmers Neville Myles in Donegal & Des McHugh in Leitrim.
Ireland's Fittest Farmer
Peter Manley help his father Michael on their 90 acre dairy farm on the banks of The Grand Canal near Edenderry, Co Offaly & from there he also runs his fitness business. He has transformed an old dilapidated shed into a top class gym facility. Brenda O'Donoghue went to visit Peter in his gym.
Mike Ross - Nat Dairy Show
Mike Ross made 61 appearances for Ireland as tight head prop between 2011-2016 and 151 appearances for Leinster before his retirement last April. Mike popped into studio before heading down to Millstreet to officially open the 35th National Dairy Show.
Energy efficiency, better breeding & grassland management are at the heart of the IFAs Smart Farming project in conjunction with the EPA. It encourages farmer participants to improve efficiencies on farm to reduce emissions & improve profitability. Damien speaks to smart farmer Andrew McHugh in Newtownforbes & Cara Augustenburg, chair of the European Friends of the Earth is in studio.
Storm Ophelia - damage
Mary McDonnell of Grey Heron Media went to visit two farmers in Munster to see how they fared in the aftermath of the storm last Monday.
A story of how literally a dream became reality for a young farming couple. Damien visits the goat farm of Paul & Amy Davis just outside Dunmore in Co. Galway. Plus Georgina Campbell, President of the Irish Food Writers Guild & publisher of Georgina Campbells Food Guide joins Damien on the line.
Safety of Glyphosate Weedkiller
A really hot issue for many in agriculture & elsewhere is the safety of Glyphosate - the weedkiller produced by Agri firm Monsanto & the most widely used in the World. It was discussed at a meeting of the EU agri & environment committee in Brussels this week. Joining me now to discuss this are two highly successful farmers with very different takes, Louis McAuley is an arable farmer from County Meath who does not support the ban. Rod Calder-Potts runs one of Irelands best known & multi Award winning Artisan food brands, Highbank Orchards in Cuffesgrange Kilkenny.
Small Farms- Under Pressure
A new survey published this week reveals that there are a staggering 50,000 farms in Ireland with an average income of just under 3,000 euros. Dr Emma Dillon of Teagasc joins us from Athlone studio. Also on the line we have Jennifer O'Connell who will be presenting a new 2 part TV series Under Pressure exploring the science of stress & looking to hear from farmers.
It was of course budget week & farmers were up in arms about the commercial stamp duty increase which will impact on sales of farmland. Reporter Daniel Clancy of Grey Heron Media went to the mart in Listowel to ask farmers what they made of the budget.
Cross the Line Films
Damien speaks to John Murray MD of Cross the Line Films, Ireland's biggest producer of Wildlife Documentaries which have been shown on a variety of channels, RTE, TG4, BBC & many more. John is just back from Jackson Hole in the US, a mecca for wildlife filmmakers.
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