RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 12: Love Match

Ear to the Ground Ear to the Ground

Finding love isn't an easy task but often people find it more difficult to meet a match when they live in an isolated place. This week on Ear to the Ground Helen Carroll meets the Tipperary couple that found love across the continents! Farmer Derek Switzer met his wife Beth when a nursing assistant caring for his father asked Derek why he'd never married. The next day she brought him a photo of her friend Beth who was still in the Philippines and encouraged Derek to ring her. He rang the next day expecting to be off the phone within minutes but an hour later he was smitten. He rang every day for a month before popping the question even though they had never met! He travelled to the Philippines to meet Beth and her family and they were married on April 14th 2010 two months after the first phone call. It took 6 months before Beth was granted a visa to come to the country and the pair have been living happily in Tipperary with Beth's 12 year old daughter Joanie ever since!

As we get older we all fear the illnesses that come with age. And as adult children of aging parents we all worry about what will happen in the future. But for some, those worries become a reality far too soon. As happened to Leitrim farmer Edmund Mitchell who was diagnosed with Alzheimers in his 50s. Edmund lost his wife at 43 and was left to rear his 7 children alone. Now at only 64 years of age, his children are looking after him. Darragh McCullough meets the family and asks what can be done to help families touched by this disease.

There was a time in Ireland when the local abattoir was as important as the local pub or shop. However, the number of rural abattoirs in the country has steadily declined with only a couple of hundred left nationwide. Rural abattoirs were once part of the fabric of rural towns and their decline reflects the wider issue of what is happening to towns and villages around the country. Ella McSweeney looks at this dying practice and asks what, if anything can be done to stop its decline.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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