NARRATOR Most employment in Ireland now is in urban areas. A third of Ireland's population lives in the greater Dublin area. Famously, Ireland was once a farming country. A people in tune with their land, which traditionally passed from generation to generation. Ruaidhri Deasy is a farmer with a very modern Irish dilemma.
In joining Europe's Common Agricultural Policy, Ireland's farmers gained access to an expanded marketplace, but also began to face greater competition and stringent EU regulations, making it harder to turn a profit.
RUAIDHRI DEASY I think farmers the world over have an awful lot in common. The only thing that we are unique and we're very, very attached because of history to our land. I decided agriculture was going to be my life and that farming, my father was a farmer but obviously being a second son there was no — The elder son inherited the farm so I had to make my own way. So I started off as a farm manager, we bought this place, but having bought it we had to borrow as much money as we had as well and then I wasn't left with much, shall we say, working capital. But that's how we got going and bit by bit then we began to develop. I've been in debt most of my life and I still am in debt but having said that it doesn't tell the whole story. We have educated our children, we have six children and the eldest is a solicitor, the next lad is an engineer, the next lad is a teacher...
NARRATOR Modern Irish education is training professionals for the new economy. Farmer Deasy got his shearing lessons at home.
R. DEASY (subtitled) My father taught me when I was a youngster, about 12 or 13. And I passed on the tradition, if you like, to my own sons.
R. DEASY (VO) The returns from farming on this farm now have gone down over the past few years so therefore it's not as attractive and at the same time the Celtic Tiger has roared in Ireland. The children have education and there's a huge opportunity for them out there, so I'm not going to stop them.