The outbreak of foot and mouth disease hits the Cooley Peninsula and its community in County Louth.

'Prime Time' examines how the farming community is coping and the reality of life for families trapped in the exclusion zone. Farmers describe how they have been affected by the cull. 

One of the most beautiful parts of the country suddenly finds itself the scene of the biggest ever mass slaughters of animals

A farmer describes waiting for the news to come through on local radio 

It appears the dreaded news has actually come to pass. It has just been confirmed that there are two cases of foot and mouth disease.

The farm owned by Michael Rice at Proleek was the first to be culled of all its livestock after foot and mouth disease was discovered there. The neighbouring family quickly realised that their livestock would be next. John Wehrly from the neighbouring farm describes hearing the devastating news as it broke on local radio. 

The result that all farmers dreaded had been confirmed

A visibly upset John Wehrly describes the process of how the cull took place. 

Peter Treanor who also owns a farm next Proleek describes the culling of his sheep.

This episode of 'Prime Time' was broadcast on 27 March 2001. The presenter is Miriam O'Callaghan. The reporter is David Nally.