Preserving the Irish heritage in Newfoundland

This week’s Ear to the Ground show visits Newfoundland which has had strong connections with Ireland for generations.

Over six generations ago, many Irish emigrated to Newfoundland, particularly from the Tipperary and Waterford region, where similar accents can still be heard today.

St. John’s the capital city, was at one stage covered with farms, mostly owned by Irish settlers, now the last farm has been sold, but instead of turning it into part of the city sprawl, they have decided to preserve it and continue running it as a working farm, preserving the Irish heritage.

Tuesday’s show, which goes out at 8.30pm, will also look at River Rescue and the faces behind the name.

Meath dairy farmer Thomas Daly first encountered the Boyne Fishermans Rescue service when they recovered his sister from the river 11 years ago.

Since then he has volunteered with the group, trained as a certified diver, helped to build a state of the art boathouse in Drogheda, and spent countless hours searching Ireland’s rivers and lakes for missing persons.

The service is entirely voluntary, funded by donations from the local community, and works closely with the Coastguard and Gardaí in search and rescue operations.

Over 100 people are lost to Ireland’s waterways every year, and the services are tasked with both rescue and recovery. For relatives, they perform a valuable service, and Thomas knows only too well how important the work they do is to the families of victims.

The show also looks at the comeback of veal, as dairy production ramps up and ore and more dairy farmers produce thousands of largely unwanted bull calves.

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