Opinion: the advent of the farmer-baiting Walsh comments made me lose my rag

  • Opinion: the advent of the farmer-baiting Walsh comments made me lose my rag
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    I had intended to devote this column to the achievements of the Ireland women’s hockey team, but I postponed it for a week, to respond to the comments from Ted Walsh on farmers and Ragwort, which I think is totally unacceptable.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/comment/opinion-walshs-offensive-farmerbaiting-comments-made-me-lose-my-rag-37211516.html
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I had intended to devote this column to the achievements of the Ireland women’s hockey team, but I postponed it for a week, to respond to the comments from Ted Walsh on farmers and Ragwort, which I think is totally unacceptable.

Dual Grand National is an excellent trainer and former champion Amateur jockey, a longtime member of the group race review of RTE and known for its long tongue and sharp mind.

As such, as part of the carefree segment AskTed#, he quickly dismissed questions about everything from his favourite takeaway in his opinion about Island love.

For many years, he provided plenty of entertainment, but his answer to the question in the coverage of the galway races on Ragwort include the following:

“Coming down from the fields there, and looking in Ragwort, I think it’s an absolute disgrace… the County councils should be shot and dirty peasants that allow it to grow around them… shoot them as well. Shoot them all.”

I was stunned that he said. And there was not a word of dissent from anyone from the group.

Rté Racing put the segment on Twitter, where it was a bit of a negative reaction, but, for the most part, it was laughed off.

I accept there is merit in what I said to Ted: Ragwort does not look pretty and can be dangerous if there is (although it rarely happens, when it costs).

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Which way up or down for the quarter and month? The more I look into it, the harder it is to understand.

But the choice of language was very offensive. It was for the national public broadcasting service, support our licence fees.

It indicates a lack of understanding and sympathy with the unprecedented challenges farmers have faced this year and those who walked along the road, when we come to winter.

I believe that this is a slander to the detriment of morality in agriculture, which is already an all-time low.

Over the past few months, farmers have to work and contend with serious challenges to keep their stock watered and fed.

It is inevitable that some of the customary seasonal work, including pulling Ragwort, had to take a back seat.

Drought may decrease, but the pressure has evaporated. The growth of the grass is only slowly recovering and it’s too late to make up for lost time from the point of view of economy of feed.

People do desperate things in desperate times. Of the many circulating stories, one recently, one two local farmers getting into a fight in the field for straw. They are both decent people, just trying to provide fodder for their stock.

I believe that we keep our own farm is pretty neat. But even so, a bit of Ragwort more than usual, descended on us this year. I resent being called “dirty” for it.

I am very disappointed that none of the agricultural organizations did not consider it necessary to go out and stand up for their members.

I do believe that such comments are not representative of how farmers, as a rule, is considered – think about how grateful people were in the snow – but if permitted to pass unnoticed, the more “acceptable” becomes.

Any self-respecting young man, hearing these words, probably say to themselves: “that’s not what I want to be a part of it.”

If agriculture is to prosper it needs to attract and retain ambitious, energetic, positive people.

I expect there will be those who will say that I should lighten up.

My answer is, if something the same integral has been said about any other part of the population, for example travellers, migrants and homeless, there would be no noise!

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