Women’s roles in farming organisations to feature on Ear to the Ground

Women’s roles within farming organisations, such as the IFA, is set to feature on this week’s Ear to the Ground.

An infestation of aggressive species of shellfish in the River Shannon and a bookshop in Co. Mayo will also be examined on tonight’s episode.

Tonight, Helen Carroll will meet with a number of women who feel that the age of male domination over the Irish agriculture sector is coming to an end.

At ground level, there are many thousands of women either running their own farming enterprises or actively involved in the family farm.

Despite this women are underrepresented when it comes to positions of influence with any of the main farming lobbies.

For example of the 53 members of National Executive of the IFA, only one is a woman.

Helen speaks with women to find out whether they think a change in attitude or policy is needed to allow for a better gender representation in Irish farm organisations.

Meanwhile, Darragh McCullough will travel to Lanesboro in Co. Longford to see how an infestation of Asian Clams threatens to damage the delicate ecosystem of the River Shannon and its lakes.

The clams are an aggressive species of shellfish, with a single clam having the potential to produce up to 70,000 offspring in a single year.

These foreign invaders are filter feeders and have the potential to take all of the available nutrients from the freshwater fishing grounds, leaving nothing for the fish, or indeed, the fishermen.

Darragh visited Lanesboro to see first hand how the clams are impacting on the local coarse fishing areas, while he will also meet with competitors in the World Pike Fishing Championships.

Ella Mc Sweeney will make the journey to Louisburgh in Co. Mayo to see how a local project aims to rejuvenate the main street of the town.

The Co. Mayo town has opened up the country’s first community run bookshop, which is breathing life back into this town.

The bookshop has been embraced by everyone in the community, from school children to adults, becoming a social hub of the community in the process.

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