RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 13

Fishy Business
There are some people we just love to hate, debt collectors, traffic wardens, clampers but tonight Ella spends a night with the fishing equivalent, the fish inspector! If a fisherman is found to be breaking the law, or disregarding regulations, he can have his catch, his gear and his boat seized. Illegal events recorded by fishing inspectors are sent to the Circuit Court, which can result in a Skipper obtaining a criminal record. Ireland has the largest territorial waters of any European country, stretching out for 200 miles. Ella goes on patrol with fishing inspector Killian Chute in Castletownbere, the second largest fishing hub in the country.

Wannabe Farmers
What do you want to be when you grow up? Supermodel, footballer, Xfactor winner, farmer?! Increasingly school leavers and those already grown up are going back to education to learn to work on the land. All around the country agricultural colleges have been inundated with applicants looking to turn their hand to farming. People from all walks of life are turning to the agricultural sector for a career change. Helen Carroll visits Kildalton College in Co Kilkenny, the largest agricultural college in the country with 500 registered students. She meets with several people who have decided to turn their hands towards the land including a former painter and decorator and a chef.

Bring Back Beet
The closure of the sugar beet industry in 2006 marked the end of an era for Irish tillage farmers. Five years later the burgeoning demand for biofuel presents an opportunity for farmers to get back into a highly profitable tillage crop. Recently over 1500 farmers attended meetings in Mallow, Wexford and Kilkenny to campaign for the establishment of a sugar beet based ethanol refinery in Ireland. But is the dream of a rebuilt sugar industry a sustainable one? Darragh Mc Cullough reports.



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