RTÉ One, Thursday, 8.30pm
Ear to the Ground

Series 22: Programme 11

Ear to the GroundEar to the Ground

Getting Connected, Rural Ireland still in the dark ages For many people living in urban areas, fast broadband is taken for granted, like turning on a light switch in your home, but the same cannot be said for rural areas.

When Ear to the Ground presenter Helen Carroll and her partner built their house in Kilkenny 13 years ago, she was told she would have broadband within 3 years, and she is still waiting.

Both Helen and her husband work from home and having access to the internet is integral to their work. Frustrated with the set up, Helen embarked on a journey to find out if she would ever have broadband. Along the way she met many others also trying to run businesses in rural Ireland, before heading to the offices of Minister for Communications Alex White to see what he had to say.

Industry steals local reservoir water in the West In 2014 a local woman from Cill Chiaráin in Connemara noticed a water pipe which had been put into local Loch an Óir lake. The waterpipe stretched over 3 km and was extracting water to a fish farm operating in Cill Chiaráin bay, and the water was being used to treat an outbreak of sea Lice.

The pipe was removed immediately but campaigners say the situation highlights the problems associated with salmon farming and the high volume of water needed to treat sea lice, which should have been planned for.

Meanwhile in an area of high unemployment, many people welcome the jobs provided by fish farming and have signed a petition supporting the use of the local reservoir system by the fish farm. Ella heads West to investigate the situation.

Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ

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