Farm Problems

During the past few months there has been a major shortage of livestock feeding materials throughout many parts of the country which was mainly due to the wet and generally inclement weather that was a feature of last autumn. It was very difficult to harvest the silage crop and even after then a great amount of what was actually gathered was of rather poor quality. This happened because the meadows were saturated during much of the harvesting season and any prospects of saving hay in such conditions were completely out.  So the results of these poor climate constant rainfalls during the previous autumn left many farmers with an acute shortage of basic feed for their animals such as silage. Because of this many had to resort to buying expensive alternative feeding for their livestock, silage, when they get it, or even more costly feeding such as nuts or grain. There can be no doubt that many farmers have had some unusual financial expenses throughout this past spring and even then there have been reports of cattle dying because of food shortages.  This is indeed a very sad state of affairs with the economy of the country depending to a large extent anyway on agricultural exports even in the middle of this prolonged recession.  Any setback in the agricultural sector is very likely to have serious and long lasting consequences for the whole country.  There are now many farmers who are voicing the opinion that if this year is anything next or near as disappointing as the previous autumn has been it will be the end of the road for them, as they would be unable to survive another financial burden such as the one that they have just been through. 

There are some people outside of farming who have little appreciation of the ups and downs and uncertainties of life in a rural setting, not alone for farmers but for many other country people as well.  All these are at the mercy of the unpredictable Irish weather each year in order to save their crops and in the case of the non farming as well as the farming people to get the turf out of the bogs for all those who depend on it for their winter fires.  It is little wonder that the turf cutters around Listowel are angry and frustrated because of the attempts being made to deprive them of their long standing right for generations to cut and save their turf in a local bog. This has, as we all know, come about because of a totally unnecessary and nonsensical order from the European Union where ignorant and interfering foreigners are having the cheek to order rural Irish people as to what they can and cannot do with their bogs, and the sad part about it all is that these foreign bureaucrats are not alone tolerated but are aided and abetted by some of our native spineless politicians who have no sense of loyalty or responsibility towards our own people.

There are hazards enough weather wise for farmers, turf cutters and other rural dwellers to put up with besides having their lives dictated by foreigners and their agents which bring us back again to the days of the landlords, the bailiffs, the sheriffs and the battering ram. Oh, yes of course we know that the foreigners and their native agents do these things in a different and possibly more civilised manner than the landlords of old did to the native peasants.  But whatever the change of treaties or of methods is not the end result other than the same when we hear about turf cutters being threatened with jail in North Kerry for cutting turf in their ancestral bogs. We can only hope that such threats by the State against decent, ordinary, rural hard working people will not be implemented but at the same time we must face the fact that judging on past performances by successive Governments in the past there is no guarantee that such vicious threats would not be carried out particularly at the behest of our European masters if it is their say so.

In the meantime we must hope that this summer and autumn will be kind and pleasant for our farmers and rural dwellers so that the silage, hay, turf and other crops can all be harvested this year. The farmers, the turf producers and other country people have all suffered enough from the weather during the past two years and they deserve a break so please God things might be better this year.

Recent Weddings

Congratulations to Anne Flavin formerly of Gortnagross, Athea and Templegalantine and Michael Fennelly who were married recently in Templeglantine Parish Church . The reception was held at Ballyroe Heights Hotel Tralee.

Congratulations also to Edel Quinn of Glenbawn and Desmond Burke of Cappagh who were married in Loughill Church last Friday. The reception took place at the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine.

Best wishes to both couples for every success and happiness in married life.

Fleadh by the Feale

In spite of the fact that there was quite a number of counter attractions over the weekend including the Rally of the Lakes in Killarney and the “Hooley in the Hills” in nearby Lyreacrompane nevertheless the numbers that attended the Fleadh by the Feale Festival in Abbeyfeale over the three days of the Bank Holiday Weekend appeared to be bigger and better than ever. On Friday night however because of the constant downpour of heavy rain the busking competition which usually is held in the open air had to be moved indoors which was a bit of a disappointment. However during the remainder of the weekend the other events all went well and the weather remained reasonably fine.   Those of us who have been attending Daisy Kearney’s story telling sessions for countless years were glad to do so again on this occasion. This year it was held in St Ita’s Hall and as usual there was a good crowd and several great performances in songs, storytelling and recitations. Daisy herself as usual told a number of her mighty and entertaining yarns and recited that beautiful poem “Dawn on the Irish Coast” as well as that classic recitation  “Cod Liver Oil” which was composed by that late North Kerry poet and traditional song writer, the peerless Dan Keane, of Coilagurteen, Moyvane.  In that famous story and recitation which was of course fiction and a product of Dan’s talent and inventive mind is to a huge extent based in Athea with many real local people getting a mention. Cod Liver Oil was an imaginary jennet supposed to be owned by a cousin of Dan Keane, late Rita Danaher, who entered the jennet in the Aintree Grand National and won the race. The build up and excitement of the story behind the race always generates the same humour and is a factor which makes this recitation unique. Well done to Daisy for a great performance of “Cod Liver Oil” on Sunday.