RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 12

Skin And Bones
On December 22, 2010 five horses were found under the snow in Darndale, Dublin having starved to death. The animals were malnourished and some had been eaten by dogs. This scene is becoming all too familiar around the country as horses, once a luxury purchase during the Celtic Tiger, are being abandoned during the economic downturn. Equally, we've all heard reports of children as young as 12 buying horses in return for a mobile phone. Ella McSweeney joins a DSPCA inspector on their rounds to help feed the starving animals in Dunsink, Dublin and learns about the education programme that the charity runs to encourage responsible ownership of horses in young people. She'll also be asking if there's a solution to this growing problem.

Bright Sparks
What makes a happy hen, and just how clean are your wellies? These are some of the questions students at this year's BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition attempt to answer. Now in it's 47th year the exhibition showcases the most innovative projects from the brightest young minds in the country. Darragh Mc Cullough visits the exhibition and learns more about a selection of the innovative agricultural projects on display.

Garda Reserve
There was consternation when it was announced in 2006 that a reserve force was to augment Garda numbers on the streets of the country. However, the reserves have now become an invaluable part of An Garda Síochána. The first Garda Reserve recruits graduated from Templemore in 2006. With Garda numbers set to be cut by 1500, the reserves are set to become an even more important part of the force. Recruits are not paid for their time and have to balance their day job with their role in the reserves. We meet Leitrim farmer John Flynn and get an insight into a typical day in his life farming and as a member of the Garda Reserves. We find out what motivated him to take on the extra voluntary position and how his life has changed because of it.



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