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.
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.
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.
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.