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RTE celebrates farming life

Tipperary farmer Henry O'Grady, his wife Audrey, daughter Mary and son Harry are one of five farming families featured in an upcoming RTE documentary called The Home Place.

The two-part documentary by acclaimed director Sean Ó Mórdha explores the history of the Irish family farm and the changes in rural Ireland as small and medium-sized farms vanish and the rural community merges with urban Ireland.

People throughout the decades have carried their farming background and their loyalty to townland and village as a badge of identity.

Farmer Henry O'Grady tells the history of his family farm in Clogheen, which was originally bought by his great-grandfather over 200 years ago and was passed down through his father's family to him.

Geographer William Nolan explains how Irish family farms were often held onto for sentimental reasons, even though the economics would have been better to sell the land.

"The connection with the home place is very strong and that connection will only get stronger with the economic recession," he says.

This documentary series -- on RTE 1 on Monday, May 9 at 9.35pm and Tuesday, May 10 at 10.15pm -- tells the story from inside the rural community, featuring five family farms and scholars and experts, all born and reared in rural Ireland.

The programme also features the Nolans of Mellison, Co Tipperary, the MacEntees of Charlestown, Co Louth, the Careys of Doolin in Co Clare and the Robinsons of Bandon, Co Cork.

The Home Place is part of RTE's HeartLand season of documentaries that celebrate the land and landscape of Ireland and explore rural life.

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