Video: Ear to the Ground meets a farmer who beat mental illness

This week’s episode of Ear to the Ground will visit a farmer who overcame mental illness following a farm accident.

Darragh McCullough meets with Co. Dublin farmer Dickie Weldon, who caught his arm in a parsnip harvester five years ago.

The accident changed his life forever and although his arm was saved, the physical damage soon gave way to mental illness, as panic attacks were followed by severe depression.

Weldon was forced to reinvent himself, he sold his business and moved to Kilkenny where he is now looking forward to a new career as an inventor.

His experience with rehab and his love of golf inspired the Pro FitStick, a training aid developed in conjunction with Carlow ITs design service.

Meanwhile, Ella McSweeney will travel north to Co. Derry to meet with Bat Rescuer Karen Healy, who outlined the positive impact the animals can have with regards to pest control.

Healy is trying to encourage farmers to install bat boxes, as bats possess the ability to control insects, such as midges, by consuming up to 3,000 of them in any one night.

During her visit Ella went along to an education lesson at a local primary school, put up some bat boxes on a local farm and even prepared an evening dinner of mealworms to feed the seven bats that Healy is currently rearing.

In Co. Waterford, Helen Carroll saw how a community raised funds for local charities while also witnessing the re-enactment of a harvest scene from 1916. 

Winding back the clock, Helen sees how steam threshing was carried out at Mount Melleray Abbey in the Knockmealdown Mountains.

In an effort to raise funds for cancer charities, vintage machinery enthusiasts also joined in to harvest 100ac of silage for the monks.

Ear to the Ground will be aired on RTE 1 at 8.30pm tonight and will also being repeated on Sunday.

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