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Ivan Yates became a farmer to fulfill his father's dying wish

Newstalk presenter, columnist and former politician Ivan Yates became a full-time farmer for three years to fulfil his father’s dying wish, he has revealed.

Mr.Yates spoke with Irish Independent deputy farming editor Darragh McCullough in the Irish Independent tent on Day One of the National Ploughing Championships.

He spoke about his time at Gurteen Agricultural College in Co.Tipperary. “I’d been in a very strict boarding school since the age of eight, and I had never had a drink, I was a complete virgin, and I had never smoked. Gurteen solved all three problems”.

Following college, he became a full-time farmer from 1978-1981. “Our farm had been set out for 20 years, because my father was a wool merchant exporting wool all over the world, mostly to Bradford. His dying wish ... was that I come home to farm. And being an obedient son I did so.”

These stories are taken from his new book, which will be serialised in the Irish Independent on Saturday the 4th October and Sunday 5th October.

Online Editors