This week the citizens assembly published its final report on 'How the state can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change'. Damien is joined in studio by John Gibbons of An Taisce & Cork farmer Harold Kingston is on the line.
Tributes to Big Tom
Last night the Late Late Show gave us a County Music Special with a tribute to the late Big Tom, who died earlier this week. Our reporter Bridget Nicholas brings us this report.
Alpaca Association of Ireland
Alpacas are animals originally from Peru who are farmed for their fleece. They are like sheep with long necks & there are about 3500 of them on a handful of farms around Ireland. Paul O'Brennan, vice chairman of the Alpaca Association of Ireland joins Damien on the line.
Ballinvrena Rambling House
The traditional idea of a rambling house was anyone could wander in, warm themselves by the fire & take turns to share music, songs & stories. Daniel Clancy of Grey Heron Media recently visited Davy's Cottage in Co Limerick.
Chinese market open to Irish Beef
Ireland is the first European country to get the green light to send shipments of frozen beef to China. This morning Bord Bia's man in Shanghai, James O'Donnell met Damien earlier in the week & on the line this morning is beef farmer, Edmund Graham.
Aintree Grand National
Its Grand National day at Aintree, a day when we all become racing experts when picking our favourite to win the worlds most famous horse race. Joining Damien from Aintree this morning is Leo Powell, Editor of the Irish Field with some possible tips.
My Hearse My Way
Somtimes the tradition funeral dosen't always do a person's life justice. Arron Grew from Scotstown, Co Monaghan has gone above & beyond the call of duty to provide a fitting tribute. Brenda O'Donoghue recently visited Arron to find out more about his unique funeral business.
Agra Facts - Rose O'Donovan
This week the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan published his plans for a new directive aimed at making the retail multiples more transparent in their dealings with farmers & small food suppliers. Rose O'Donovan Editor of Brussels based journal Agra Facts brings us this report.
Go Vegan World
The slow growth in Vegansm & the debate about the ethics of farming animals is nothing if not divisive. Joining Damien in studio this morning is Sandra Higgins of Go Vegan Ireland to discuss veganism & what it means.
Tillage Farming - John Daly
We have been hearing over the past few weeks about the fodder crisis & the impact it has had on farming, farmers & farm animals. Another sector under serious pressure from the long harsh winter is tillage farming. Damien visited John Daly, a tillage & sheep farmer in Co. Galway to find out just how bad things are.
According to the President of the IFA Joe Healy, we are in the midst of a farming emergency. Cattle have been eating into fodder reserves since last September, making it a 6 month long winter with cattle remaining indoors as the fields are too wet & there is little grass growth. Damien will be chatting about the situation with a number of guests this morning from O'Gormans farm near Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.
JP McMahon, Galway Food Fest
Joining Damien from our Galway studio this morning is well known chef & commentator JP McMahon who is very much involved with the Galway food festival on this weekend.
Malnutrition is a condition that we associate with people in developing countries but in fact it is a growing problem in the western world too. Damien speaks to Laurence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition at the Forum for the Future of Agricultural annual conference in Brussells this week.
Handel's Messiah was first performed in Fishamble Street in Dublin around Easter 1742. Since 1992 Our Lady's Choral Society do it live on Fishamble Street this year on Friday 13th April. All are welcome.
Lambing in Kilkenny
Louise Denvir visited William Hutchinson's farm in Kells, Co Kilkenny to see how lambing is going for him.
We are coming to the end of March & farmers all over the country have been complaining that this has been a long harsh winter. Cattle can't get out, slurry tanks are filling up as farmers cannot get into their fields to spread slurry. Damien speaks to Ann Mitchell at her farm in Menlough & on the line from Tipperary is vet Kieran O'Mahony.
Brexit Border Issues
We are just one year out now from the exit date & the efforts to make Brexit work trundled along in Brussels again this week. The so called border question remains arguably the most contentious & hardest solved. Damien spoke to Gabriel Darcy, Brian Patterson & Gene McGinty during the week. Joe Healy, President of the IFA & Barclay Bell of the Ulster Farmers Union join Damien on the line this morning.
Fake News & Agirculture
An event took place in Tipperary hosted by Nuffield Ireland on fake news & its implications for agriculture. News stories & videos, largely coming from social media are influencing younger consumers in particular. Reporter Suzanne Campbell went to find out more.
This weekend world renowned horse whisperer Monty Roberts is in the Cavan Equestrian centre to demonstrate his unique method of breaking or taming horses. Yesterday at the RACE academy for trainee jockeys in Kildare, Damien caught up with Monty ahead of a demonstration he was conducting there.
On Thursday the death was announced of Irish entrepreneur and businessman Dr. Pearse Lyons. Dr. Lyons was also a brewer and distiller and last years opened the Pearse Lyons distillery in Dublins liberties. He was based in Lexington Kentucky and was highly respected in the agri food sector and he spoke to us on this programme many times.
One man who loved Cheltenham and who had a dream of training a winner there was the late Oliver Brady. The larger than life Monaghan man passed away over two years ago but has left a great legacy as we will discuss presently.
The government Project 2040 plan was launched last month. Its aim in general is to regenerate rural Ireland. This week, our reporter Diarmuid McIntyre put his finger on the pulse of life in Roscommon town when he went along to chat to some local businesspeople but the first man he met was well known local journalist Seamus Duke.
Micil Poitín - Brónagh Ní Chuilinn
Is seachtain na Gaelige atá ann agus caithfimid súil ar Chontae na Gaillimhe agus casann ár dtuairisceoir Brónagh Ní Chuilinn le Padraig Ó Griallais atá mar driogaire Poitín.
This week, we sent our reporter Brónagh Ní Chuilinn west to County Galway to meet with the Poitín distiller, Padraig Ó Griallais.
You may have seen the new Barnardos TV ad campaign titled Lost. It aims to highlight the fact that one in seven children in Ireland are lost to poverty, homelessness or neglect. That amounts to over 170,000 children. Chief Executive of Barnardos Fergus Finlay joined Damien in studio to discuss this further.
Colette Kinsella went out with three volunteers from the My Lovely Horse Rescue to bring a horsebox full of hay and water to dozens of horses who are left without food, water, and shelter in housing estates all over Dublin.
Some snow tourists are risking their lives and in some cases the lives of people left to rescue them. Reporter Suzanne Campbell had the first of many rescues in the Glencree valley. As the snow in low land areas thaws, warnings need to be heeded about heading off to mountain areas
Coping with the Weather
Damien spoke to various farmers from around the country to see how they are coping with the weather.
Pubs close on Good Friday
A 91 year ban on the sale of alcohol on Good Friday will come to an end in pubs across Ireland next Month – but not in one North Cork Town. All of the publicans in Newmarket have decided to keep their doors shut and stick with tradition despite the change in the law
'Lakeside Stories' is a new documentary film about connections between generations, raising questions about what's been lost and gained in the social life of a rural parish in our increasingly globalised world.
Guests Pat Griffin from the the Health and Safety Authority, Pip Courtney from ABC TV’s LANDLINE programme and Co Laois, dairy farmer Paul Hyland discuss quad bikes and safety.
Dublin Fruit & Veg Market
In 2015, Dublin’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market got the go ahead for a rejuvenation plan with millions set aside to restore and transform the Victorian building into a retail and wholesale market. Progress has come to a standstill. Bridget Nicholas went to Dublin’s North inner city to find out.
Dr. Jude Capper is in the news as one of the people behind Februdairy, which followed on from Veganuary..
For many rural pubs over the past ten years, last orders have been called. However a report published this week paints a somewhat brighter picture for the rural and urban pub scene. The report on the health of the sector shows that there are now 7,200 pubs dotted across 26 counties employing 230,000 people.
There is no getting away from our next item. It seems everybody is talking about.
Thoughts on the impact of Brexit on food imports and exports to the UK from a number of contributors Damian chatted to in London this week.
It is estimated that out of the one hundred odd thousand farmers that we have in Ireland, a little over one per cent of them are certified as organic. Dr. Oliver Moore, food writer and blogger and Mike Gibney Professor of Food and Health in UCD joined Damian in studio
For students attending the great Dawn Meats sponsored agri debate in Waterford Institute of Technology this week, it was no bother to them. Food and farming reporter Suzanne Campbell caught up with the UCD team after their win
TB in Kerry
Over fifty farms in South Kerry are currently locked up due to a continuing outbreak of TB in the area which has been described as the worst spate of cases in living memory.
RTE’s Sean Mac an Tighigh has been investigating and he joined Damian from the Radio na Gaelteachta studio in Baile na nGall.
Last week the EU Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan said that the increase in milk supply throughout the EU was unsustainable and warned farmers in Ireland in particular to heed market signals.
So just when we thought that the issue of the post Brexit border on this island had been put to bed, fear not it is back on the agenda. With the UK insisting it will leave the customs union.Reporter Sarah Swadling visited County Cavan pig producer Ollie Leddy to hear of the practical concerns for his business if a hard border was reintroduced.
Minister Michael Creed
Last week the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed travelled to Turkey and it was announced that contracts had been agreed to double the amount of cattle shipped there on the hoof this year. Minister Creed has been telling Damien more about this.
It was reported this week that 5000 new professional chefs will be needed each year in the Irish hospitality industry between now and 2020, but only 2000 new entrants are coming through annually. Diarmuid McIntyre popped into the Kitchen of Billy Byrnes pub in Kilkenny to get a sense of the work of a commis he chatted to commis chef Graham Delaney
Damien was joined on the line by Jane Shackleton who is a farmer from Mullagh on the Cavan Meath border and Darragh McCullough Ear to the Ground presenter and farmer living the other side of Meath on the east coast is also joined us.
Piano, Sheep - they go hand in hand for Fiachra Garvey when he talks to Suzanne Campbell on the farm in West Wicklow.
Damien met George Graham - Champion Sheep shearer - at home to talk mental health especially for rural folks.
Who's getting harried by the Hen Harrier - the hens or the farmers? Diarmuid McIntyre goes to the Denis Hayes dairy farm in Carrigkerry in west Limerick with Fergal Monaghan.
Munster and Ireland legend John Hayes joined Damien on the programme from the farm in Cappamore, Limerick on farming and Rugby 6 Nations.
Over the past decade we have heard many sad stories of people losing their homes and businesses after falling into arrears with repayments. Traditionally farmer have had a unique relationship with banks. David Hall if the Irish Mortgage Holders Association joined Damien in studio.
The IFA has been criticised for the very low number of women represented on its national council. There are only 4 women out of 52 members of the national council including three new county chairpersons. Damien spoke to farmer Imelda Walsh.
This week an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was the guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of the IFA.
Fancy working in the tropical climbs of Costa Rica. Miami, Panama pr Beleze? Well over the past number of years, fruit importer Fyffes has been running a programme for college graduates in these very places. Damien spoke to Fyffes general manager, Kieran Sweeney.
As lambing season is set to begin on many farms across the country the issue of dogs killing sheep is never far around the corner. Suzanne Campbell went to visit farmers, Sean McNamara, Robert Roe and Done Anderson and found out how they felt about the situation.
Irish Stallion Trail
The Irish Stallion Trail is happening at around 30 stud farms countrywide & Dave Keena brings us this report.
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