RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 5

Ear to the Ground

Rain, hail, sleet, snow, a Winter's day in Ireland can contain every weather type from mild to severe. Almost every conversation in Ireland revolves around the weather and over the last two years the weather was not only a topic for small talk but big news, as towns and cities around the country ground to a halt under a blanket of snow. This week Darragh McCullough looks back on all the elements that came together to produce two extreme Winters in a row. He'll be examining the prospect of facing another big freeze this year and asking are we prepared?

As part of RTÉ's Local Heroes Initiative Helen Carroll meets the local hero whose farm enterprise has already created 17 jobs and plans to create 10 more over the next number of years. Kilkenny dairy farmer Joy Moore began making brown bread and other pastries with the surplus milk from her farm. She quickly increased the range of products to include apple tarts and doughnuts and expanded her workforce to create 17 jobs. Not only has she created employment in her area, but she also sources her raw ingredients locally using milk from her farm, and apples and wheat from local producers. After buying a special machine, her bakery is now one of the few in Ireland producing doughnuts and she can produce up to fifty thousand per day! Helen meets Joy to hear how she built up the Old Town Hill Bakehouse so rapidly, and her plans for further job creation and expansion.

Europe's fisheries ministers meet in Brussels this week in an effort to radically overhaul the continent's dysfunctional fishing industry. A catastrophic collapse in fish stocks, the scandalous waste of good fish being thrown back into the sea, and large-scale industrial fishing are high on the list of targets for change. But can Irish fishermen survive on more sustainable fish quotas, or is the industry doomed? Can Ireland police its vast fishing grounds and prevent a total collapse of wild fish populations? Ella McSweeney talks to leading scientists and fishermen about the future of fish.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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