Donkeys were once an essential part of farming life, but have been left behind by developments in agricultural machinery. Through no fault of their own, they have become redundant in today's world. Ella McSweeney visits a donkey sanctuary where these forgotten animals are given a place of peace and refuge whether they are just too old, injured or unwanted.
Village Revival in Loughmore, Co Tipperary Helen Carroll visits Loughmore Tea Rooms in Tipperary to soak up the festive spirit. When Mary Fogarty and Maeve O'Hair found themselves living in a dying village, where local businesses had shut down and they were traveling to a neighbouring village to buy a pint of milk, they decided to rise to the challenge.
They opened Loughmore Co-operative Shop and Tea Rooms in 2012. Their aim was not only to combat the decline in services in their community but also to combat the even bigger problem of rural isolation.
They gauged the community's appetite for the enterprise by organising a local Christmas market and inviting local producers and crafts people to come and sell their wares. This led to them opening the Tea Rooms in 2012. All of their food and crafts are supplied by producers within a 5 mile radius of the cottage.
The Tea rooms have brought the heartbeat back into the community. Helen goes to Loughmore to visit this special cottage.
Love or Hate
Love them or loath them, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without brussel sprouts. Darragh Mcullough is in North Dublin, following the food journey of the humble sprout from the farm to the Christmas plate.
Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ