Saturday, 8.10am


Saturday 21st October

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.

Smart Farming

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.

Saturday 14th October

Goat farming

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.

Listowel Mart

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.

Saturday 7th October

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.

Roundwood National School - Rian Butler

We were contacted by Roundwood NS in Wicklow who were amazed by a biodiversity project video by 9 year old Rian Butler. Rian is an aspiring wildlife cameraman, setting up cameras in the woodland around his house, in order to capture wildlife footage. Countrywide went along to meet Rian.

Brexit, EU & IFA Protest

Farmers & politicians are up in arms at rumours that the EU will allow easier access for beef imports from South America to help strike a trade deal with the Mercursor countries. It prompted a protest by the IFA outside the EU Commission Offices in Dublin last Wednesday. Damien speaks to Independent MEP & member of the Agricultural committee in the European Parliament, Luke Ming Flanagan about Brexit & other agricultural related matters.


We have many different breeds of cattle in the national herd, some native & so called continental breeds. Albracs are a French breed & probably among the last of the continental breeds to reach these shores. Damien recently met two Albrac breeders in county Galway, Kevin O'Brien & James Donnellan, President of the Irish Albrac Society.

Environmental Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency recently published the companies they say are in breach of environmental standards, They include agri food companies, Dairygold, Carbery Food Ingredients & Arrabawn all of which are Origin Green approved, Origin Green being the Bord Bia gold seal of approval for good environmental practice. Claire McCormack of Agriland & Michael Moloney of Bord Bia.

Saturday 30th September

Suzanne Campbell, Macreddin, Co Wicklow

Imagine a meal in which every single ingredient comes from within a mile of your home, sounds plausible but easier than you think! Hotelier Evan Doyle is planning to do that next Thursday night at the Brook Lodge hotel Macreddin in County Wicklow. The meal has been in planning for two years with many crops planted especially for the table 18 months ago & farmers whose land is adjacent to the hotel, Michael Stapleton & Liam Fanning providing milk, cream and lamb. Food & Farming reporter Suzanne Campbell joins Damien in studio.

Run for Adam Burke

Kildare man Adam Burke was a young fit man when he suffered a stroke while playing gaelic football for his club Two Mile House fourteen months ago. His parents Willie & Catherine were told to prepare for the worst that Adam only had a one in five chance of survival. But survive he did and has made a substantial recovery. Brenda Donohue met with Adam & his parents pitchside at Two Mile House, Kildare.

Rural Crime

Following a debate on rural crime hosted by FarmIreland & the Irish Independent during last weeks ploughing championships in which a County Tipperary farmer, John Tully gave a passionate if not provocative speech, which no doubt was bourne out of frustration by farmers living in rural Ireland who are victims of crime. Joining Damien on the line this morning is the President of the ICMSA, John Comer.

Salvaging the Harvest

First a report from Damien with Co. Galway farm contractor Martin Fleming in Mountbellow during the week, followed by Andy Doyle, Tillage Correspondent of The Farmers Journal in studio this morning.

Saturday 23rd September

Countrywide Culture Night Special

This is a Countrywide special from the Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle for Culture Night. Culture night is a celebration of our culture & of the arts. We are going to call this a celebration of Agriculture Night! We have great guests lined up which reflect the impact & pentration of arts & culture in rural Ireland, Mairead Lavery, Maura McElhone, Joe MacCarrick & Seamus O'Rourke. With performances from country music singer/songwriter Lisa McHugh & a performance from Vintage Choir, many of them farmers from Co. Louth.

Saturday 16th September

Screggan, Co. Offaly

This morning Countrywide comes live from Screggan in Tullamore, the site for the 2017 National Ploughing Championships. The finishing touches are being put to preparations to welcome over a quarter of a million people over the 3 day event next week.

Saturday 9th September

Irish Agricultural Science Association

The 75th annual conference of the IASA took place yesterday in Kildare. Aside from top researchers, academics, agricultural business & administration figures in Ireland there was also a big international presence, with representatives of the world's biggest dairy operations.

Dustin & Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes which is not inherited or genetic in origin is on the increase in Ireland & the rise is hitting young & old, rural and urban. Many of us would not know we are developing it until symptoms hit us. A simple blood test for diabetes is really simple, quick & painless & joining Marty in studio is a highly professional team, Sinead Powell is a dietitian from Cork & her assistant is, a Turkey!

Voxpro - Brenda Donohue

How about this for your typical working day? Growing your own lunch, brewing your own beer, meetings in the Geodome while finishing the day off with a slice of pizza from a giant disco ball pizza oven! Brenda brings us this report from a place where it is most certainly a reality, VoxPro, a multinational tech company in Cork.

Martry Mill

We know that Ireland is the home of brown bread & wholemeal breads' coming back into fashion is something that has helped one of Ireland's oldest water powered mills, Martry Mill just outside Kells in Co. Meath. Suzanne Campbell went to visit the mill this week & joins Marty in studio this morning.

Grain Farming

Marty heads to the tilling fields of Wexford where grain farmer & Farmers Journal correspondent Pat O'Toole is greasing his machinery in the final dash of this year's grain harvest.

Saturday 2nd September

Stradbally, Co Waterford

On the eve of the big clash of the Ash in Corke Park between Waterford & Galway, Marty presents live from Stradbally GAA Club, with a spectacular pairing of Galway & Waterford talent there!

Saturday 26th August

Niamh Lynn

Among those who will be taking to the stage at the Harvest Music festival later on is up and coming star Niamh Lynn. Niamh had a chat to Damien about her rise to stardom!

Joan Geraghty and Neill O'Neill

Joan Geraghty, author currently featuring on Castlebar Community Radio and Neill O'Neill, who is President of the Castlebar Chamber as well as Managing Editor of The Mayo News spoke with Damien about tourism in Mayo, GAA excitement and Minister Michael Ring.

Minister for Community and Rural Affairs Michael Ring

Minister for Community and Rural Affairs Michael Ring joined Damien this morning at Westport House. They spoke of the challenges facing the rural community.

Sheep Sales and Padraig Joyce

The Mayo Mule and Grey faced premier sheep sale was held yesterday in Ballinrobe mart. It is actually one of the most important sheep sales on the calendar particularly for farmers in this part of the world. Louise Denver met with sellers and buyers!

Jake Carter

The Harvest Country Music Festival takes place this weekend in Westport. Jake Carter is one of the many Irish and International country musicians taking to the stage.

Saturday 12th August

Taste of Cavan

Reporter Darragh McCullough pays a visit  to the Taste of Cavan festival.

Away with the fairies

Ronan Kelly meets Pat Noone on his farm in Kilconnell, Galway. Pat tells tales of another world…the world of fairies!

Climate change

Are we serious about climate change or not? Damien discusses the issue with Professor John Sweeney and Harold Kingston.

Seamus O'Rourke

Writer and actor Seamus O'Rourke is back! This time around we hear Seamus perform  'The Round Roofed Shed'.

Irish Vet Fails Oz Language Test

Australian agricultural journalist Philippa Courtney chats with Damien about this Australian language test,  Aussie Ag and immigration.

Saturday 5th August

Aga Khan dream team

Remember the 1977-79 Aga Khan dream team?  Suzanne Campbell reminisced with Paul Darragh's brother Dave about Eddie Macken James Kernan Con Power.

Tom Latchford

Tom Latchford first spoke to Damien on RTE's Liveline a few weeks back when he felt that the price of coffins are just too expensive, so he decided to make himself one instead.  Damien went to visit him in Galway, and not only does he make coffins but he looks after neglected donkeys.

Pat McDonagh

Pat McDonagh joined Damien in our Galway studio to talk about rural Ireland

Maura Melhone

Our radio diarist Maura Melhone writer and city girl who is married to a farmer. Over the last year or so Urbanite Maura McElhone has been adapting to life with Farmer and Boyfriend Jack, and now it's holiday time. Small Mercies indeed. You can follow Maura's cultural transition on her well named blog


The Farming Independent reported this week that there are over one hundred vets needed to service farms around the country as veterinary students opt for small animal practices over large animal practices. Claire McCormacks story described the situation as a crises. Damien spoke to County Galway vet Conor Geraghty about the looming problem.

Saturday 29th July

Myths & Reality - Biblical Weather Beliefs

Quantum Mechanics - Scientist v Believer - Richard Dawkins & Prof William Reville, UCC.

Phil Hogan

Interview with EU Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan in his Brussels Office with his opinion on a wide range of issues pertinent to the office.

Saturday 22nd July

GAA Social Initiative

Meath GAA Health and wellbeing committee brought a group of older gaels and former players on a visit as part of the GAA social initiative this week. And if you want to find out more about the GAA health and wellbeing programme, you should make contact through your local GAA club or county board.

Pearse Lyons

Dr. Pearse Lyons is an entrepreneur who left Ireland with $10,000 to set up Alltech in Kentucky USA, an animal nutrition company. Now a multi billion euro business with depots across the globe. Dr Lyons along with his wife Deirdre took on a project to revamp a church on James Street into a whisky distillery and visitor centre.

Model Farm in Tullamore, Co.Offaly

We often hear how the print media is under pressure. So innovation is paramount. The Farmers Journal has weathered the changing media landscape well but it is also thinking outside the box and earlier this year it leased a farm outside Tullamore.

Organic farming

Organic farming is all about sustainability and Kate Carmody practices what she preaches at her farm in North Kerry.  Reporter Grainne McPolin and assistant Paul Haywood go back to the land to see Kate in action.

Evelyn Cusack

It has been said by some that, when it comes to predicting the weather cows have more authority than the meteorology experts, according to a study. A survey of 2000 adults by the British Met Office this week discovered that quite a lot of people do believe in pishogues or old wives tales as we would call them to make predictions about the weather

Saturday 15th July

Larissa Tormey

Larissa Tormey, a classical trained soprano and pianist met her future husband, Christy, when he was on a stag weekend in Moscow. Within six months of their meeting, they were married. Well 16 years on, Larissa is now making her mark as a country music singer. Brenda Donohue went down to Kilbeggan and Larissa began by showing her around the farm.


We went West to Kiltimagh in County Mayo where Darragh McCullough of Ear to the Ground fame who was standing by among a laod of culchies.

The Hucklebuck

Brendan Bowyer singing the Hucklebuck arguably the signature tune of the showband era, a uniquely Irish genre of music that packed dance halls throughout the 60s. And the stories and anecdotes from those dancehall days are subject of a new book which is being pieced together and to tell us more is Joe Kearney who joins me in studio.

Blackwater Gin

The first craft gin distiller to set up is Blackwater Distillery in County Waterford, situated on the banks of the River Blackwater in Cappoquin. This week we sent our reporter Kiara Murphy along to find out a little more about the art of making gin from co-owner and former TV producer Peter Mulryan.

Pat O'Toole and Liam Dunne

Last week there was a week long sit in at the department of Agriculture Headquarters in Dublin, held by some tillage farmers who represented about 200 farmers mainly from the west of the country who suffered huge losses last summer due to freakish weather. Pat O'Toole from The Irish Famers Journal and Liam Dunne from IFA joined Damien in studio.

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Contact the Show

Text: 51551

Presenter: Damien O'Reilly

Producer: Ian Wilson


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