A 93 year old farmer from Co. Kerry is set to become a small screen star for the first time in his life – on RTE’s Angelus programme this evening (Friday, June 2).

The programme will give a short glimpse into Patie O’Sullivan’s daily life where he farms on his land in Tuosist, Co. Kerry, surrounded by local wildlife.

The subject of this evening’s Angelus programme was discovered by Matt Sullivan of Bolt the Door Films.

Sullivan told Agriland how he came to find Patie as a subject.

“I was asked are you aware of this man who lives back in Tuosist, still has no tv and radio, doesn’t drive a car, grows a lot of his own food and is in his nineties?” he said.

His curiosity led him to arrange a meeting through his aunt, who lives in the same area as the 93 year old farmer.

Filming for the Angelus

When Sullivan finally met up with Patie, he was not a hard man to persuade to be filmed.

“I told him I wanted to film some footage of him for posterity and he said no problem,” he said.

But it was not immediately a simple matter to organise a meeting with Patie because the 93 year old does not own a phone.

Sullivan said: “You can’t ring ahead which was very problematic for a long time.

“I would leave Cork and pray to God that when I landed at his house, he was outside”.

Farming for the Angelus

Patie was a rich source of material for a filmmaker for Sullivan, who is still very active at 93 years of age and is still maintaining part of the Beara Way.

“Patie had a shovel, a grubber, a shears, and sledgehammer…which he carried up the mountain at 93,” Sullivan added.

According to Patie he was a “hired hand” in the bogs around Kenmare, Tuosist and Templenoe, as “the bog was his real love.”

Patie o'sullivan1 Source: bolt_heritagefilms
Source: bolt_heritagefilms

When Sullivan asked what he would do differently if he had a chance at having his youth back, Patie said:

“Nothing. I’d be back working on the farm because to work on a farm is the best thing a man can do”.

He told also told Sullivan how he grows kale and potatoes at his home, but is forced to place “brambles and sticks on top of his kale to stop the deer from eating it”.

“When I met Patie he was battling the deer and he said ‘I’ve them nearly bested,'” the film maker added.

Filming challenges

Sullivan told Agriland that there were challenges to filming Patie for the Angelus programme which lasts for just one minute.

He said it was difficult to choose which parts to use “but as far as Patie is concerned when you can still see that he works his own land, that’s what’s important to him”.

Patie o'sullivan Source: bolt_heritagefilms
Source: bolt_heritagefilms

“I tried to give a representation of Patie’s life, and if it was just him working that would only be one dimension,” Sullivan added.

A key focus in the Angelus programme is Patie sitting at the end of his stairs drawing wildflowers, fauna and horses with his sketchpad and colouring pencils.

“I showed him drawing because it’s important to show a farmer that worked all his life has an artistry to him,” Sullivan added

It has been arranged for Patie to be brought to the pub in Kilmackillogue to watch the Angelus, which Sullivan says is “the talk of the parish”.