RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 5

Ear to the Ground

The latest CSO figures show an alarming trend in the continuing rise in the price of basic foods. The bad weather and subsequent poor harvest this year have had an enormous impact, not only in Ireland, but worldwide. Low yielding harvests could lead to scarcity in certain food products, which will only drive food prices even higher. Conor Pope tells Helen Carroll about the pressure this will place on ordinary consumers in the supermarket. Tom Arnold of Concern highlights the harsh reality faced by those who simply cannot afford to pay these rising prices. And Helen questions John O'Reilly of Davy Stockbrokers on the morality of trading basic food essentials such as wheat and maize on the global stock market.

This summer Ella McSweeney travelled to Kilruddery House in Bray, Co. Wicklow, the seat of the Earl of Meath since 1627. There she met Anthony Brabazon, the heir apparent, and his wife Fionnuala, who told Ella about their efforts to make an ancient estate sustainable and profitable in modern Ireland. The house is surrounded by housing estates and the Brabazons are making great efforts to welcome visitors into their gardens and the house itself, and even produce and sell their own food products. Brabazon inherited the estate from his father and is going to great lengths to ensure that Kilruddery House will survive and thrive for future generations of his family to inherit.

Brian Keneally left his dairy farm in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny this summer to travel to the biggest spectacle on the world stage this year - The London Olympics. Keneally was the bike mechanic for the Irish cycling team in both the Olympics and the Paralympics. Seán Kelly, local cycling hero, inspired Keneally to take up cycling at the tender age of 12 and Darragh Mc Cullough has the opportunity to join them both for a cycle and to talk to Brian about the juggling act of combining farming and competitive cycling.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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