Ear to the Ground, RTE's popular farming and rural affairs series, returns to the screen later this autumn.

Ella McSweeney

Ella McSweeney is back for her second series of Ear to the Ground. Ella has considerable experience as a tv presenter and radio broadcaster, and has presented and produced a variety of agricultural, science and wildlife programmes including Farm Week and Shanks Mare. 

For three years she travelled around rural Ireland recording her wildlife and walking series Shanks Mare.  In 2006, Ella explored Ireland's oceans with her series 'Into the Deep' while in 2007, her science series Mind Matters won a PPI Award.

She recently presented the lifestyle series Living Lightly on RTE 1 television. She is currently studying for a masters in organic farming and is particularly interested in rural issues in Ireland.

After leaving school, Ella studied science in university, specialising in zoology. After graduating, she spent a year freelancing in community radio and RTÉ Radio 1 before joining the BBC. After working in the BBC's science and nature department in London, she returned to RTÉ in 2004 and presented series such as Future Tense, Nature's Web, The Green Light, Farm Week, RTÉ's Big Science Debate and documentaries for RTÉ's Documentary on One slot, for which she won Young Science Journalist of the Year. She recently presented a series on RTE Radio 1's Today with Pat Kenny Show called Home Grown, which looked at Irish traditions in farming and food. She blogs at cowluck.blogspot.com and is on twitter @ellamcsweeney.

Darragh McCullough

Ear to the Grounds most experienced reporter, Darragh McCullough returns for his eighth season.

This year Darragh understands that "things are tough for everybody, and farmers are no different having endured three of the wettest summers on record." But he is looking forward to being on the road again, seeking out inspiring ideas and stories, confronting tough stories, and asking the hard questions that everyone else is afraid to ask.

Darragh farms on a mixed farm in Co. Meath. He studied Agricultural Science in UCD and also has a Masters in Development Studies.

He also writes for The Farmers Journal and operates a mobile farm unit for Agri-Aware that helps promote awareness among children about farming and food.

Helen Carroll

Helen Carroll is back for her sixth season of Ear to the Ground this year. The versatile presenter is looking forward to heading out on the road again this series to cover the wide range of stories emerging from rural Ireland.

Helen has worked extensively in television - researching and reporting on RTE programmes such as Prime Time, Kenny Live and Gerry Ryan Tonight. She has also worked as a sports reporter/presenter for RTE radio.

Helen presented TV3’s Sports News and their current affairs programme ‘20/20’ before taking on the role with Ear to the Ground. She now lives in her native Kilkenny with her husband and daughter, where she writes a weekly column about country life for the Kilkenny People.

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