(01)Ear To The Ground (Series 25, Programme 8)
Thursday 4th January 2018
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome
Saturday July 7th 2017 was just another routine day for 49 year old dairy farmer John Dolan. However as he sat down for breakfast along with his two sons Shane and Cathal, John was about to undergo a life changing medical event, that would leave him fighting for his life. On that morning John experienced a cardiac arrest caused by the condition Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Luckily for John the fast response of his sons saved his life – as one called the Ambulance, the other kept his heart pumping by giving him CPR. Darragh Mc Cullough went to Westmeath to see how John is getting on now, while also paying a visit to Ballinasloe Mart, where the Irish Heart Foundation was carrying out Free Health Checks to willing participants.
Boyne Valley Blue
In 2008 Michael Finnegan turned his back on the family tradition of milking cows, and decided to milk goats instead. However there was a cheese-maker lurking inside this young Slane farmer and in 2010 he began to experiment with making a unique cheese of his own. And from that the successful ‘Boyne Valley Blue’ was born. Last summer Helen Carroll went along to Mullagha Farm to spend the day with Michael and help him make his cheese – from milking the goats, to delivering the finished product to the nearby Sheridans Cheese Shop in Pottlereagh.
The Irish Moiled Cow was once a common sight in the Irish Landscape. In fact Viking invaders were so taken by the docile, red coloured cows, with their distinctive white stripes along their backs, that they shipped them back to Finland by the boatload. But as farming traditions changed, so did the fortunes of the Moiled cattle and by the 1970s the breed was almost extinct. But a concerted effort by a small group of people over the last 40 years has begun to turn around the fortunes of this hardy breed.
Ella McSweeney went to Castlefin and Killygordon in Donegal to meet two men who are helping with the rejuvenation of the Moiled. ESB worker Mark McConnell and Bus Driver Seamus Holmes both keep Moiled cattle and are hoping that by keeping these animals, breeding from them and hopefully creating a market for their meat, they can secure the future of the ‘Moily’.
Ear to the Ground is produced by Independent Pictures for RTÉ.
(Ear to the Ground broadcasts on RTÉ One,Thursdays at 8.30pm. Repeat lunchtime Sunday).
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