RTE's Rural Week: "Heart|Land"

Over the past number of years, RTE (Ireland's national broadcaster) has strongly supported farming and food programmes. Until recently, farm news was a daily part of their main evening radio news programme, Ear to the Ground has been on RTE 1 television for over two decades and a plethora of food programmes have featured in their radio and television schedules. RTE Radio 1 has a weekly farming show, Countrywide with Damien O'Reilly (previously called Farm Week), has been on air for many years.

So it's little surprise that they've dedicated a week's programming to celebrate rural life in Ireland. The week is dubbed "Heart|Land" and RTE has commissioned radio and television programmes that reflect rural life in the 21st Century.  RTE's aim is to "rejoice in the land and the landscape of Ireland...In all the glamour and blare of the Celtic Tiger, we might have forgotten that our deep relationship with the land and landscape of Ireland continues into the 21st century... The RTE season Heart|Land throws a light on that relationship".

The Heart|Land schedule, starting Sunday 8th May, looks fantastic; it's a satisfying balance of entertainment and issue-led programmes. I'm particularly looking forward to Sean Ó’Mordha's two part documentary on the history of the family farm. I've done some filming as part of my role on RTE TV's farming and food series Ear to the Ground, and I'll be reporting live for the Pat Kenny Show on RTE Radio 1

And don't forget, thanks to Brendan of Castlemine Farm in Roscommon, next week is also 'Eat Only Irish' week - something everyone can get involved in. More about that challenge here.

So here's what to expect:
RTE Television
The Home Place: a two-part documentary by acclaimed director Sean Ó’Mordha, The Home Place, explores the history of the Irish family farm. 
Nationwide will feature a young Kilkenny woman who is exporting honey from her country cottage to markets all over the world, meets the Cavan woman who works full time with the farm Relief Services as well as running her own farm and talks to a Roscommon farmer who has vowed to eat nothing other than Irish-produced food for the entire week. They also see how a determined Bantry woman is developing a state of the art driving academy on her land.
The Frontline: An examination of the position of rural Ireland in 2011, asking whether its economic needs are being met and whether it is realistic for Government to attempt to reverse the drift of population away from rural areas towards urban centres.
What’s Ireland Eating: journalist and consumer champion Philip Boucher Hayes delves into a number of Ireland’s most popular foodstuffs and reveals some unsavoury truths about where they came from and what they’re doing to our health. 
Ear to the Ground: presenters Darragh, Helen and Ella explore their own very different and personal relationships with the countryside.

RTE Radio
The Business will explore the new face of agriculture in Ireland – are we capitalising enough on our greatest natural resource?
The Documentary on One: ‘Olivia’s Farm’, we meet 35-year-old Olivia Hynes, a sheep farmer from Four Roads, County Roscommon, during her busiest time of year.  Despite the fact that Olivia has four brothers and three sisters, she was the one who chose to work on the family farm and the land was transferred into her name at the age of twenty-three.  The challenge for her is to maintain a viable, full-time farm. 
The Book on One this week is ‘Holy Land’ (Faber, 2007), Maurice Riordan's third collection of poems, read here by the author, is a sequence of dramatic idylls set in rural Cork in the 1950s.  The subdued microcosm of farm and smallholding is brought quietly to life through the voices of the poet's father, neighbours and assorted farmhands. Ray McAnally gives a towering and taurean performance as the Bull McCabe in the 1969 RTÉ production of The Field by John B. Keane also starring Eamon Keane and Niall Toibin. 

Countrywide goes to the very heart of the Heartland - Cavan is the location for one of our regular forays beyond the Pale.  It’s also the location for the All Ireland Fleadh later in the Summer, and that’s why Cavan music will star on the show. Also throughout the Heart|Land season, Drivetime will feature reports/feature on rural schools.

Each day on Lyric, In Tempo will play a piece of music which evokes our relationship with the land; Gerry Godley presents a Reels to Ragas special, a celebration of work song around the world and down the ages; on Grace Notes Ellen Cranitch will have eco-friendly fun with traditional and folk songs and tunes with rural connections; Rock, Sea and Sky will feature a vivid, celebratory sound-picture of Inis Mean and Dance to your Shadow is a celebration of mouth music.
On RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s Ardtráthnóna, Máirtín Tom Sheáinín looks back at the history of the Doire Néidh Fair in Connemara and the jobbers who used to come there to sell livestock, as well as the history of other fairs in the area.
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin joins the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for an evening of his music at the National Concert Hall on Wednesday 11 May 8pm, including Oileán/Island with the great Matt Molloy.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds lovely Ella, thanks for sharing!
    Imen xx