RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Programme 3

Ear to the Ground

What price power? As Eirgrid plans to build 4000 giant pylons to extend the high voltage electricity network across the South, Midlands and West of Ireland, local communities are campaigning to have the lines buried underground. Helen Carroll reports from a monster meeting in Co. Meath and asks what impact these lines will have on the rural landscape?

In this week's Food Journey Ella McSweeney meets Ireland's broccoli baron! Kildare grower Paul Brophy grows 6 million heads of broccoli annually on 400 acres, making him the biggest broccoli grower in Ireland. He tells Ella that the competition is so intense these days that the medium sized grower has been edged out. Supermarkets demand a year-round supply of consistently high quality vegetables. This is a risky business for Brophy because broccoli is a temperamental vegetable and if he fails to deliver an order, his customers will go elsewhere. He shows Ella how he has invested heavily to ensure that his broccoli reaches retailers in peak condition in order to protect his livelihood.

Ash dieback is a fungal disease that threatens to wipe out one of our most common native broadleaves and devastate the hedgerows that are so characteristic of the Irish landscape. First discovered in imported plants a year ago, it has since spread to our native ash trees. With over 100 confirmed cases across the country, Darragh McCullough travels to Leitrim, where trees are being destroyed in an attempt to eradicate the disease. But is it too little, too late?

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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