CountryWide-Eyed at RTÉ

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of appearing on RTE Radio 1’s CountryWide programme. There, I was interviewed by my fellow Irish Country Living columnist, Damien O’Reilly, and shared my story of the joys, challenges, and lessons that come from ‘falling for a farmer.’ My first time on national radio was exciting and daunting in…

The Phonecall

When I saw him the following evening, I looked hard to find the small scratch on his brow, just beneath his hairline. I pictured the tractor laying on its side, the jack-knifed trailer behind it, and I knew, without question that it was only for the guardianship of some higher power, that Jack was sitting there beside me that evening.

My first slaughter

You’ll recall that Jack had issued me an offer that I definitely could refuse — an invitation to witness the killing of a calf persistently infected with the fatal disease, BVD. To say I love animals is an understatement. I once subjected my poor Mammy to the cold shoulder for a good hour after she…

Faced with a difficult decision

It was more a disappointment than a surprise when with the results of the follow-up tests came back confirming that all five calves had BVD. “What now?” I asked him, even though there was only one answer. “Call Tom up the road, I suppose.” Tom works for the local hunt kennels and is the man…

Testing times

That’s how, on a Wednesday evening in Rathgar, I found myself settling into an hour’s research on the topic of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, this wasn’t a dose that could be cured with dry toast and flat 7up.

The backstory

So, in February 2015, he made the leap, trading in the pressed shirts and daily commute for wellies and tractors.

The change has ushered in a new way of life for me as well, and while year one hasn’t been without its challenges, more than anything, it’s been an education.