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    Saturday 21st May

    FALLING ( FELL) FOR A FARMER

    Maura McElhone found herself in the middle of a farmyard tending to sheep and cattle with absolutely no prior experience. This new life is thanks to her boyfriend farmer but she is also enlightening us to the day to day experience of farming life courtesy of a blog and a column she writes in Irish Country Living in the Farmers Journal.

    The Taste of Ice Cream

    4 ice creams and 3 Guest Tasters. The ice creams were from Nobo, Glastry Farm (Teelings Whiskey), Cow Pow and Kefi, and the 3 tasters were Marie O'Toole, National President ICA, comedian Alison Spittle and a new DJ, Dave Fanning. Long time collaborator with the show, Louise Denvir, conducted this totally scientific outing.

    Chips Off the Old Spud

    The humble potato is making a small comeback having declined for many years. Bord Bia and their UK equivalent have a twitter site @TastyPotatoes for their joint marketing campaign. Bord Bia have just appointed well-known TV nutritionist and dietician Aoife Hearn as an ambassador for this campaign,and MIchael Neary joined Damien to explain

    More Hens in Shercock

    The country's largest chicken processor, Manor Farm,  which processes nearly a million chickens a week is planning to spend 25 million euro over five years to expand to meet demand, with 600 more jobs to come, most of them in Shercock, Co Cavan. Vincent Carton along with his brother Justin own the company which is over two hundred years old

    Saturday 14th May

    Camphill Community

    Parents who have a child with intellectual or physical disability worry about what will happen to them when they pass on. Frances Shanahan reports on Camphill Community Centre

    Size Matters

    The World's largest pumpkin/vegetable at 2327.7 lbs- 1.09 Tonnes in real weight! Patrick Sullivan and his cousin Michael Byrne are the champion pumpkin growers in Ireland, with personal and Irish records for Pumpkins of 425KG and 311KG .

    Farm Accidents

    Damien visited the Flynn family farm in Cormaddyduff near Ballyjamesduff in Cavan to talk about the loss of Kieran. Brenda and son Gerry tell a hard story to listen to. Theirs and many other sad stories will be remembered on 26th June in Abbeyleix at the  annual Embrace Farm service.

    New Minister for Agriculture

    Only in the job for a week, Michael Creed took the time to talk to Damien about the challenges ahead.

    Saturday 7th May

    Pat O Toole on new Ag Minister

    Pat O Toole speaks with Damien on the allocation of TD Michael Creed as Minister for Agriculture.

    Regina Sexton

    Regina Sexton, food historian speaks with Damien about 'The Cheese Culture'

    Louise Denvir

    Louise Denvir meets with award winning Julie Dupoy and asks her what it takes to be one of the worlds best sommelier?

    Suzanne Campbell

    Food and farming reporter Suzanne Campbell meets with some judges from The Annual Great Taste Awards.

    Brenda Donohoe in the Dean Crowe Theatre Athlone.

    Brenda Donohoe speaks with the finalists of the RTE All Ireland Drama Festival in Lullymore.

    Maura Canning

    Maura Canning speaks with Damien on her experience on doing the annual Darkness into Light run and walk this year.

    Country Wide 7 May 2016

    On today's show we sample a little taste of Tipperary, what it takes to be a champion wine sommelier and Pat O Toole tells us about the new minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

    Saturday 30th April

    THE AULD IRISH GOAT

    Yes it exists! Happily in Mulranny Co Mayo. Louise Denvir checked out goat lore with sheep farmer Michael Joe Ginnelly & Séan Carolan of the Old Irish Goat Society. The goats have been here for thousands for years & are a valuable pool of unique goat genes & today (30 April) is Mayo Day 2016.

    DO NOT (IG)NORE THIS LEGACY!

    Frances Shanahan was on the trail of the 12,000 (PLUS) pieces from Nore View Folk & Heritage Museum, near Bennetsbridge in Kilkenny, with life's work of the late Seamus Lawlor. Anne-Louise Mitchell showed the full artefacts to Frances Shanahan & Damien also spoke to to the (then) 75 yr old Seamus in 2012.

    BREXIT? TO BE (OUT) OR NOT TO BE (OUT)

    LacPatrick CEO is Gabriel D’Arcy and he leads the Co-op merged from Town of Monaghan Co-op and Ballyrashane Co-ops. LacPatrick operates on both sides of the border with a major dairy in Coleraine. The idea of the UK bailing out of the EU ( Brexit) gives him nightmares as he outlines to Damien.

    REPUTATION AT STEAK!

    Aidan Cotter is CEO of Bord Bia is just back from a succesful trip to Iran along with many Irish food companies & bodies. Bord Bia have just been named as the most reputable organisation in Ireland, but it's not all Sunshine & Roses, as the IFA & others have their 'salaries & perks' in their firing line.

    Saturday 23rd April

    IFA -OLD AND NEW TALK

    The IFA elected a new President & Vice President this week. Damien headed out to the (mythical) Farm Centre in Bluebell, Dublin, to check it out. While there he met the incoming President, Joe Healy & his predecessor, Eddie Downey. Both had interesting things to say, and it is the first long chat Eddie has had since resigning last year.

    THE MUNSTER OF LOURDES

    Aine Phelan is from Waterford. So how did she end up with a slice of Munster in Lourdes, France? Frances Shanahan met Aine to find out about, The Munster Cafe & Bar 43 Rue de la Grotte, Lourdes.

    ARE BEES THAT SMART --- DUH... YEAH!

    Today in NUI Galway Professor Robert Pickard tells us ‘What Humans Can Learn From Bees’. Prof Pickard is Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology at the Univ of Cardiff will be speaking at a Seminar on Bees in UCG , organised between the Western Beekeepers Association & Dep of Zoology ,NUI Galway, Damien speaks to Prof Pickard this morning.

    COAL QUAY - DRISHEEN BEATS MOORE ST!

    The Journey’s on Us is a way for community, voluntary and charity groups to win a free return rail journey with Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail and CountryWide RTE Radio 1. Last Tuesday, Brenda Donohue witnessed an historic meeting of Ireland’s two most famous Markets, Cork’s Coal Quay and Dublin’s Moore Street.

    ORNUA - ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD

    The row over Exec & Dir payments of millions in Ornua has 'soured' relations between dairy farmers & those running Ornua. Farmers were reluctant to talk publicly but their fury was obvious. To date neither the farmer organisations, nor the Dairy Co-ops, who make up the Ornua board, are willing to give any breakdown on the payments to management. Sounds familiar?

    Saturday 16th April

    THE SHARED PLOUGH

    The National Ploughing Championships are being held in Offaly this September, but months in advance of the competition the county championships take place llast Sunday, Louise Denvir took a tour of the Longford Ploughing Championships in Legan with well-known local plough-man and loy competitor Eamon Egan.

    Michael O'Leary Rules The World

    Michael O'Leary is over the moon after Rule the World won the Grand National & then there was the Gold Cup. He talks at length to Damien about that win, airlines (of course), has a tilt at Independents & the odd left wing party. And of course, the reason for the chat: The Angus Sale at Fennor Farm, close by Gigginstown House, in Westmeath.

    NO EXCUSE ANY LONGER

    If you own a dog a change in the law means that from this month all dogs in the country including working dogs on farms must be microchipped. Shane Langrill who farms in Roundwood, County Wicklow had 15 sheep killed by dogs in late January. He met with food and farming reporter Suzanne Campbell to talk about the problems with loose dogs .

    MORE LIKE A FUNERAL THAN A CATTLE SALE

    Peter Kingston saw his prize herd of nearly 1000 purebred Holstein cattle sold at auction by a bank which secured a €2.45 million judgement against him. The Kingston family were RTÉ’s Ireland’s Fittest Family. Kingston contends the Bank had ceased to negotiate. Pat O'Toole of the Farmers Journal Joins Damien in studio to discuss the fall out.

    Saturday 9th April

    GRAND NATIONAL DAY

    And they're off! Leo Powell, from The Irish Field was live in Aintree on Grand National Day.

    HIS SEAL IS FATED

    Brenda Donohue went to check out Sammy the Seal in Wicklow town and why they are using The Donald as a way of scaring him away. Local restaurateur Alan Byrne of the Lighthouse Restaurant is worried about Sammy and called in the Irish Seal Rescue group to advise him.

    COMER AND ICMSA

    John Comer is a Mayo dairy farmer and president of The Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association. Damien went to the farm to talk milk prices and rural development or lack of it.

    TRACTORS - TURN ON OR NOT?

    What is it with men and tractors? Noel Dunne writes on machinery for the Irish Farmers Monthly. Maybe it has moved on by now and women farmers are equally obsessed? Doubt it?

    45 YEARS IN THE POST

    Mary Kelly runs a Newsagent and Card Shop in Ennis, and recently received a letter sent to the shop address in Ennis- one that was sent in 1971.

    DO NOT ADJUST YOUR SET

    In 1965 RTE launched its first farm TV programme. 'Telefis Feirme' was presented by Justin Keating, a vet and politician, and ran for 2 years. Cork farmer Donie Cashman, later to be IFA President remembers it well, and to tie in with this Justin's widow, Barbara Hussey wants our help collecting some memorabilia from thisgroundbreaking programme.

    Saturday 2nd April

    MORE THAN THE LEAVES RUSTLING!

    Tom Brady is still active as a journalist, having retired as full time Security Editor for the Irish Independent. During the week his article in the Farming Indo, pointed up cattle rustling & evidence of illegal slaughtering of animals. Tom joins Damien on the line this morning to tell us a little bit more on this story.

    IFA ELECTIONS

    The IFA is the largest farming organisation in the country & the elections for the President & VP (& other County Chair positions) have just started. In studio this moring are 3 Presidential hopefuls, Henry Burns, Joe Healy & Flor McCarthy. But first Frances Shanahan gauges the opinions of farmers at a mart in Kilkenny about the elections.

    Saturday 26th March

    LAY LADY (CHARO)LAIS (Bob Dylan?)

    It is over fifty years since the first Charolais cattle were brought into Ireland & the breed is the title of a play “Charolais”, written & starring actress Noni Stapleton is touring Ireland at the moment. Food & Farming reporter Suzanne Campbell wanted to learn more about the play & the breed. Suzanne visits Kilrue Farm in Co Meath.

    MIRACLE MICHAEL

    Michael Healy Rae was nearly killed by a recently calved cow. Anybody working on farm or with stock should listen to this. He tells Damien just how easy it is to drop your guard & how it could be fatal. And he confirms there will be a Minister for Rural Affairs in a future government.

    WHAT EWE LOOKIN' AT?

    Damien goes lambing at Fieldstown Farm in North Co Dublin with Padraic & Brid McMahon. He was joined by son Lorcan & Niamh Moran from Oldtown who were there helping the lambing.

    CAN YOU HANDEL IT?

    In April every year Our Lady's Choral Society mark the Anniversary of the first performance of Handel's Messiah, which was here in Dublin in 1742, with a series of special concerts. Proinnsías Ó Duinn & Fr Paul Ward, two of the many people in Our Lady's Choral Society talk to Damien.

    Saturday 19th March

    DAFFODILS ARE SUCH NARCISSUS(ES)

    Busy time for Darragh McCullough on the family farm in Meath. This week they started sowing onions & they are still in the middle of harvesting thousands of daffodil stems. The only bad news of the day came from the lambing shed.

    JAILBREAK

    Jailed for good reasons! More on why Damien O'Reilly is in Crumlin Road Jail for the night at http://cavangaa.ie/

    MILKING THE MARKET

    Well the market is now milking the farmers. Darragh talks to 2 people with different takes on the milk price & the actions of the Council of Ministers this week. Gary Mitchell is Regional Chair Dumfries & Galloway & Vice Chair Milk Committee of the National Farmers Union in Scotland. Catherine Lascurettes is Dairy Executive in the IFA.

    THERE'S A RYE-OT GOING ON

    Earlier this month, the Irish Food Writers' Guild chose Riot Rye their Special Contribution to Irish Food Award. Riot Rye is a bakery & bread school based in the Eco Village in Cloughjordan, Tipperary. They lead the Real Bread campaign in Ireland. Louise Denvir headed to Tipp to meet John Fitzmaurice & Julie Lockett.

    LIVID IN LISMORE

    Community activists in Lismore, Co Waterford are searching for two landmarks that were stolen last week. Crowbars were used to remove two roadside mile-markers, or milestones, from the limestone walls on the Lismore-to-Tallow road, in west Waterford. Brenda Donohue headed to Waterford & met Mealla Fahey, Mary O'Brien & Alice o Donohue in Lismore.

    Saturday 12th March

    THANK MEAGHER FOR THE TRICOLOUR !

    The man we can thank for the Tricolour is Waterford Born Thomas Francis Meagher, one of the leaders of the Young Irelander rebellion . Meagher and Fellow Young Irelander William Smith O'Brien, went to France to study revolutionary events there & returned the new Flag of Ireland. Francis Shanahan heard the story from the pupils of Mount Sion PS.

    29 c CABBAGE SPARKS ROW

    The Veg Growers hit out at Aldi and Lidl for using low price veg in their promotions. Jer Bergin of the IFA explained to Damien how a bargain for the consumer could be a disaster for the farmer.

    PRINT YOUR OWN MEAT

    Banning Garrett has some amazing thoughts..... local food, 3D printers making meals, on demand local energy, end of globalisation, no more cars in your driveway, driverless cars.....and on and on. Damien met him at the Teagasc Foresight 2035 conference in Dublin.

    GIDDY UP !

    Time for Cheltenham, Suzanne Duffy headed to Meath recently to meet Gavin Cromwell & Jers Girl! Suzanne joins Damien in studio.

    Saturday 5th March

    FAIR DAY IN TAGHMON?

    A book of original songs & poems about Wexford people & its places was recently launched in Wexford. But it was a book with a difference. Called “A voice from out the crowd”, it was published posthumously by the Williams family in tribute to Tom Williams , an historian , song writer, poet & genealogist who died three years ago.

    BRENDA'S BLOW INS ?

    It is not easy, trying to eke out a living from 12 acres of fairly poor land near Bantry but one couple have found an inventive way to supplement their income. Two years ago, Tim & Sandra Rowe began posting short videos of their life on the farm & over 200 videos have gained 7 million views. We sent Brenda Donohue down to West Cork to get the story.

    YOU'D WANT TO BE STARVIN' TO EAT THAT STUFF

    We have 3,000 kilometres of shoreline around Ireland but very little of the food that we eat is gathered from the sea let alone the shoreline. Food & farming reporter Suzanne Campbell took a walk this week with chef & forager Niall O’Sullivan of Nadur Collective, a Wicklow based group collecting wild foods & running programmes in food education.

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    Presenter: Damien O'Reilly

    Producer: Ian Wilson

    Schedule Open Schedule