McSweeney, like many in his sector, is hurting physically and emotionally, under the strain of a drought and a sustained fodder crisis.
Standing in a field of freshly cut grass, he moulds a handkerchief in his fist and dabs the sweat from his brow.
“The problem with farm safety is the farmer has to work too long hours, and he gets tired,” he continues.
Deadlines and Pressure
“The hours are too long, he's under pressure with deadlines, and, he's worried about the department coming.”
The list of what has to be done seems endless.
“In the spring he is calving cows 24-hours-a-day. A cow can calve anytime of the day or night. A farmer has to feed the cows, he has to milk the cows, feed the calves, and he's tired after that.”
“Then he has to go inside and do paper work.”
The administrative side of the business, meeting safety standards, and applying for farm grants is as demanding as the physical requirements.
“If you haven't it done, they’ll deduct you ‘x amount’ because you are not up to spec. There's no down time, no chill out time,” he says, squinting in the sun.
Despite digging a well 10 years ago, he's unsure if it will last in the current drought.
"It's depending on the weather. A lot of the shallow wells are going dry. Anyone with a shallow well is in trouble."
Fodder is "a big issue" too.
"We're feeding stuff that was cut about a month ago. If it continues it'll be worse than what it is in the winter. There are no reserves...reserves are gone."
He adds: "I've 34 bales left over from last year and we are using four bales a day now. We have about 13 hundred bales made, but, during the winter peak we (will be) using 12 to 14 bales a day."
Despite the hardships facing him he says: "I still love it. You are born into it. It's a way of life."
The McSweeney's have farmed in Patrickswell for the past 127 years.
"We're here since 1891. I'm fifth generation," Michael says with pride.
His mother Bridget McSweeney, aged 75, and his son Daniel, aged 19, are clearly cut from the same cloth.
Bridget quips: “I milked cows, stacked hay, drew bales, don't talk to me."
"And, I had to feed everyone too."
Daniel McSweeney, departing the conversation for a few hours work on the tractor, sums up the mood: “Farming is a dangerous job, but, when you're tied to time, pressure is pressure, and you just have to keep going."
In the past 10 years over 200 people have died on agricultural related incidents, mostly involving farm vehicles and machinery.
Ten farm deaths have been confirmed so far this year.
The figure for the whole of last year was 24.