'It's a great life but weather is always boss in farming'
My week: Eddie Hennessy
Eddie Hennessy was musing over how far each of his four children have moved from their original home base on the family's farm at Ballysimon in Co Limerick when we had a chat last week.
Simon (33), an equine veterinary surgeon operating in Kildare is closest. But Eddie thinks that "there are not enough horses down in Limerick" to attract him home.
Then there's Paul (26), a young dentist in Dublin, Eimear (36), a civil engineer with many more add-on qualifications who is working with Google, and Ciara (30) who is finishing her training as a GP in Manchester.
"I didn't want to influence them," Eddie says with remarkable understatement considering their chosen professions, with the exception of Simon, are some distance from farming.
He then adds: "Don't know where they got their love of education from. Not me. I hated school. I put down my pen after the Inter Cert."
Odds were, Maire - the mother of the Hennessy household - had an influence.
Eddie has been dairy farming since he was 16 and runs a Friesian/Holstein herd on his 130 acres of owned and leased land supplying Dairygold - and like every other dairy farmer, he is just hoping for the best.
"When you are getting a milk price in the low twenties, things are bad. Two years ago it was in the high thirties and I was looking at the returns just recently and we are ¤15,000 down for the same effort two years ago. I can't say I don't miss that," he adds.