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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 Fallingforafarmer.com

Vets

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.

Kiltimagh

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.

Saturday 3rd June

Live from Bloom in the Park

This morning Damien comes live from the Phoenix Park. It is day three of the Bloom Event, which is not just about gardens but also a showcase for some of the Irish Food companies to introduce their produce. With voices & sounds from the first two days from Louise Denvir, Damien also has a variety of guests this morning and music from the RTE Lyric Quartet.

Saturday 27th May

Tallaght Farmer - Donie Anderson

Despite Tallaght's urban sprawl as one of Ireland's most populated suburbs, there are farms that exist in the area. One of those is owned by Donie Anderson & Louise Denvir visited Donie on his farm.

Demise of Supermarket - Aidan Connolly

The annual Alltech#ONE17 three day conference took place in Lexington Kentucky this week. The animal nutriition company puts on a showcase of discussions, debates & presentations in front of 3000 guests from around the world. One presentation was given by Aidan Connolly from Dublin who spoke about the changing in attitudes to shopping & how we are seeing the demise of the supermarket. In studio also is Jenny Whelan, Editor of the Checkout Magazine.

Hay Challenge - Brenda Donohoe

Farmers from the counties of Cavan & Monaghan will take part in the first ever 32 County Bale Challenge by travelling the country in the hope of making a ton of bales in each. It is to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charity & Daisy Lodge, for families affected by cancer. Brenda Donohoe travelled to Rafaragh, in Monaghan where she met one of the organisers, Charlie McCann.

Lidl Trolleycam Ad

There is a new series of Lidl Trolleycam adverts, where there is a camera placed in a trolley, so we can eavesdrop as people shop. One of the couples featured is Mairead Gaffney & Craig Lovett, from Carrickboy outside Cavan town & they join Damien on the line this morning.

Saturday 20th May

Gavin Duffy of Dragons Den

The current series of Dragon's Den has come to an end & the only Dragon that has stayed the pace for all series so far is Gavin Duffy who joins Damien in studio this morning. Gavin speaks to Damien about the series & he talks about what he has spotted, that is an interesting & uniquely Irish phenomenon, the Farmer/Inventor or problem solver!

Maura McElhone - Farm Blogger

Our occasional columnist Maura McElhone has been busy on the farm this week as she turns another corner in her journey from typical townie to rural superwoman!

Michael Creed - Min for Agricultural & Food

Live animal exports, brexit & climate change are among the topical issues swirling around farming right now. Damien took the opportunity to sit down with the Minister for Agricultural & Food, Michael Creed to get his opinion on some of these topics.

Razor Clams - Suzanne Campbell

Razor clams are a valuable & tasty food with ninety-nine percent of them landing in Irish ports, leaving Ireland then by plane to export markets in Asia. They were once foraged & cooked as an important foodstuff so why don't we eat them anymore? Food & Farming reporter Suzanne Campbell headed to the north-east to find out more.

Glanbia - vote on changes to structure

Thousands of farmers descended on Punchestown this week to vote on changes to the structure of Glanbia. Damien popped along to find out what are the big issues occupying the minds of farmers.

Saturday 13th May

Country singer Derek Ryan

Damien is joined by a very special guest, Irish country music singer Derek Ryan & his band who are live in studio this morning, for a chat & performance. Derek is currently doing a country tour & he performs for us two songs 'Hold onto Your Hat' & '60 Years Ago'.

Ewan Hanney, Wicklow

Ten year old Ewan Hanney came to our attention with the news of him buying a belted Galloway heifer, following making his communion. Ewan lives near his uncle Tom's farm in Aughrim & Brenda Donohue went up to visit Ewan & his mother Linda to bring us this report.

Henry Corbally - Glanbia

Glanbia is one of the biggest & most successful Irish Agricultural business companies. Following a merger of 2 Co-Ops in the southeast, Avonmore & Waterford at the turn of the millennium, it has had a metamorphosis of sorts away from core agriculture into what it now describes itself as a global nutrition group employing 6 thousand people in 32 countries. Joining Damien in studio this morning is Chairman of Glanbia, Henry Corbally, a dairy farmer from Co. Meath.

Gorse Fires & Bird Watch Ireland

First a montage of voices & opinions on the devastating gorse fires which raged over the week. BirdWatch Ireland say this morning that it is reckless of the government to propose legalising burning in March & issued a statement saying out of control fires are happening because of government failure to adequately monitor & enforce the laws. Suzanne Campbell brings us this report.

Saturday 6th May

New initiative - Kickstart - Lidl & Bord Bia

A new initiative from Lidl, supported by Bord Bia, which is good for Irish Agriculture, good for Irish food & good for Irish Business, called Kickstart, a chance for small food & drink suppliers to supply Lidl for their 'Best of Ireland' food promotion in September 2017. Any Irish food supplier across the country can enter. Daragh is joined by Aidan Comerford, of Comerford's Bakery.

Active Retirement Associations

All around Ireland, Active Retirment Associations emphasis the benefits of staying active in older age. Whether it's arts & culture, sports or fitness, study has shown that getting active & involved is said to have a huge positive effect on our wellbeing as we get on in years. Mary McDonnell of Grey Heron Media went along to visit Tipperary Active Association.

Proposal of shooting at night ban

Earlier this week at meetings held around the country, farmers were in uproar at new proposals by the Dept of Justice to ban shooting at night. Most predators especially to lambs, are nocturnal animals so food & farming reporter Suzanne Campbell went to hear views of Wicklow farmers on gun usage & the proposed changes.

Co-Op Beef Ban

This week saw sensational, not to say, misleading headlines here, such as 'Brexit Blockade: UK Giant wants ban on Irish Meat'. To give some reality on the future of Irish beef in Britain, we are joined by Kevin White, Fresh Foods Editor of The Grocer, Britain's main retail trade publication & Dr. Fiona Thorne, Snr Research Officer with Teagasc, who recently presented some disturbing analysis on the competitiveness of Irish beef production.

The Natterjack Toad

The natterjack toad is only found on the Dingle Peninsula & near Rossbeigh on the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry & while it was listed as 'endangered', it's enjoying a mini baby-boom. A conservation project, where natterjack toadlets are raised in tanks before being re-introduced to the wild first at Folta Wildlife Park, has been extended to Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium. Majella O'Sullivan went in search of the natterjack toad in its natural habitat near Castlemaine Harbour.

Combines for Charity

Well its Combines for Charity in what seems like almost an annual event in Co Meath, as they vie for yet another Guinness World Record. It's a massive undertaking and the site in Kiltale, Co Meath is a hive of activity. Joining Daragh in studio is one of the organisers, Tony Brady & Kevin Shannon, one of the designated harvester drivers is on the line from Kiltale.

Saturday 29th April

Leanne Kiernan

Psychologist & former All Ireland winner with Armagh, Enda McNulty said recently that growing up on a farm was a great advantage especially for playing sport at an elite level. Rugby stars Sean O'Brien, Tadgh Furlong, CJ Sander & Rory Best are current exponents of the belief. This week Damien met Irish soccer International, Leanne Kiernan & her dad John, on their pig farm in Bailieboro County Cavan.

Live Exports

Since the beginning of the year over 85,000 Irish cattle have been shipped live from here to markets across Europe & the Middle East. These ships are licensed by Dept of Agric & must meet strict strict animal welfare rules regarding conditions on board, at this trade is worth 100 million euro annually. But it has its critics, particularly amidst recent reports of cattle been treated inhumanely once they have reached their destination. Damien is joined by the President of the Irish Cattle & Sheep Asoc & Gabriel Paun, EU Director of Animals International who filmed such abuse.

May Day

This Monday is May Day & it marks the first day of summer, signalling the start of turf cutting, a busy period for farmers. On May 1st tenant farmers used to pay their half-yearly rent to landlords, farm labourers were hired & Kilkenny women gave men new hurling balls. May Day traditions are mostly associated with luck & protection. Brenda Donohue met Michael Fortune, a folklorist & filmaker from Ballindaggin, Co Wexford to talk about May in the Irish calendar & traditions associated with in.

Farmers Rights

This week, 50 years ago, Gardai arrived on farms across the country & rounded up farmers taking them to Mountjoy prison as the farmers fights campaign continued following the famous march to Dublin & sit in. Damien speaks to Prof Paul Rouse of UCD & Alan Gillis, one of those farmers who was incarcerated as a guest of state who went on to become leader of the IFA & a FG MEP.

Saturday 22nd April

Wind Turbines - Nuisance Or Not?

Damien visited Roscommon to hear local objections to wind turbines. He was also joined in studio by Jim Power and Colm McCarthy to debate those concerns.

Ireland's Food Exports To China

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed discussed the potential for exporting Irish beef to China. James O'Donnell from Bord Bia joined us live from Shanghai to have an in-depth look at Chinese market opportunities from the Irish Export perspective. Ireland currently exports a huge proportion of its pork, dairy and even duck to China.

Tractor Singing Goes Viral

Tractor singing Star Leanne Rowlette & her father Sean joined Damien to discuss her recent trending on social media. Leanne's Dad filmed and posted a video of her beautiful singing from atop a tractor seat and needless to say, it went viral.

Saturday 15th April

The Benedictine Monks of Silverstream

It's Holy Week & for Christians worldwide it is the most significant feast in the Church Calender. Damien visited The Benedictine Monks of Silverstream Priory outside Stamullen, Co. Meath earlier in the week.

Sean Finan, President of Macra na Feirme

There are about 100,000 farmers in Ireland & Sean Finan is President of Macra na Feirme, the young farmers organisation. Sean joins Damien to discuss the next generation of farmers & he has put together a document on the main points that would be in the interests of younger farmers today.

Growing tea in Ireland - Suzanne Campbell

In Ireland, we are more likely a tea culture, even though the coffee culture has made huge inroads into Ireland over the last few years, because we are the second highest consumers of tea in the world. Of course tea and coffee is harvested in warmer climates & at higher altitude such as China, Africa & India. But could we grow our own tea in our own back garden. Well we are about to find out as our Food & farming reporter Suzanne Campbell has been to a nursery this week to meet Irish plant supplier Thomas Quearney of the garden supplier Mr. Middleton.

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Text: 51551

Presenter: Damien O'Reilly

Producer: Ian Wilson

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