Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Let me begin by thanking [you] for publishing my poem, Planting the Spuds in the Country Living supplement of the Irish Farmers Journal of 19 June. I am truly honoured to have my poem included in a publication that is read and respected, probably unanimously, by the farming population of Ireland.

A number of your readers have kindly asked me about the background to the poem, what inspired it and why is the speaker in the poem based in New York city. Like most of the poems in Ireland Calling, from which it is taken, it celebrates the way of life of a time that is in danger of being forgotten, which I want to keep alive in the memory of this and future generations. Planting the Spuds is, of course a work of the imagination, as is the case with most poems. However, it does have its roots in my childhood years, growing up in Co Laois. A neighbour, who planted his garden with spuds every year would get farmyard manure from our yard in his ass and cart, so the poem grew from that reality. Most of the poems in Ireland Calling are seen through the memory of Irish emigrants, many based in NYC, through which they recall their early years in rural Ireland, from a distance, so to speak. I thank your readers for showing such interest in the poem.

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

Arthur Broomfield [Dr]

Photo of the Week

Two-year-old Amelia Carty from Walsh Island, Co Offaly, out herding the cattle. \ Matha Carty

Tweet of the Week

Money Mentor tip

There have been big increases in people receiving fraudulent emails, texts or phone calls. Adopt a “zero trust” principle online. The Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) reported that more than 700 money mule transactions (totalling in excess of €5m) have been identified in the first half of last year. Money mules are typically young people, recruited through social media, in what appears to be a friendly opportunity for “easy money”. This is in return for opening a new bank account to lodge or transfer money on behalf of the criminal. This is, in effect, money laundering and a criminal offence.

Number of the Week


The amount of farmers who participated in a health survey who considered that they were “about the right weight”, but based on BMI calculations they were in fact classified as being overweight or obese.

Instagram Inspiration

A hashtag we’re loving at the moment is #madelocal a campaign by the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) to promote the many talented craftspeople here in Ireland and to encourage the general public to discover new makers to shop, gift and wear. This beautiful knitwear has been developed by @bebhinnthelabel. A Waterford designer, Bébhínn promotes the slow, natural accumulation of lasting wardrobe pieces.

Other designers to also look out for are:





Quote of the Week

Clothes are my drug. My mother has a love for clothes. She has three sisters, they have a love for clothes, very stylish ladies. My grandmother had a huge love for clothes. So I didn’t lick it off the stones.