A farmer has told of the pain he experienced, and continues to feel, after his family farm was left to his brother.
The person, who wished to remain anonymous, had his story told by Ryan Tubridy on his RTÉ Radio 1 show on Monday morning, in light of recent tragedies involving farm families.
“I grew up working very hard, but also very happily, on my family farm,” the man wrote.
“I worked on the farm, along with my father and brother, after school, before school, every weekend, all the school holidays.
“I wasn't brought to swimming lessons or football training like other boys in my area, because, in our family, the farm came first, but I didn't mind.
“I knew no different and I truly loved farming - the outdoor lifestyle, working with animals and running your own family business.
“My parents, myself and my brother worked hard to expand and develop it into a thriving business, buying more land as became available in our locality.
“I was reasonably bright in school, but was never overly encouraged by my parents to study hard, as it was a given that I would continue to work in the family farm.”
The man said that his older brother decided he did not want to work on the farm and wanted to go away to college, while he was set to do a farming course.
“This is where the injustice started,” he wrote.
“At the last minute, my brother decided that being away from home and studying hard was not all it was cracked up to be. He said he was not going to college, and wanted to stay at home.
“My parents felt that the farm was not big enough for two brothers to make a good living. So, after much fighting and tears, I was forced against my will to move away to go to college and get a job.
“I have never gotten over this. It has haunted me all my life.”
The man said his parents’ decision left him in a dark place, as he felt cheated out of his dream job by his own family.
“It's not just the fact that my brother was handed our family business, the family home worth several million euro too.
“It's not just that the farm gives him an income that is multiples of what I earn in my so-called ‘good job’.
“It's not just that he is so wealthy and that he has a thriving business to hand down to his children. It's actually mainly the hurt that runs very, very deep, that they chose him over me.”
The man said his young son was passionate about farming too and that he dreams of buying a small farm for them.
“When you do not inherit this, it's almost impossible to save enough money, after paying tax, mortgage, and living, to buy even a small farm and people who inherit farms have no realisation of how lucky they are.
“I can understand these family tragedies because I've had those feelings, I have contemplated taking my life on very dark days.
“The feelings of hurt and anger at the injustice are so strong that I can see why those tragedies happen, where the person wronged feels that they should pay for what they did.
“If it wasn't for wanting to be here for my wife and kids, and the help I get from ongoing counselling, this could be our story,” he wrote.
“It's taken me a long time to forgive my parents and my brother, but it is the only way I could continue to stay alive and to look at them every day, working the land, driving the tractors and jeep, living out the life that I so desperately wanted, and still want, for me and now for my son.
“My family don't know how I feel, because I cover it up, but it has eaten me up inside with feelings of sadness, anger and bitterness, and the only way I could cope was to forgive them. It doesn't mean what they did was OK, it wasn't.
“So, for the people who wonder how these tragedies happen, I don't wonder that. What I wonder is, how do they not happen more often.”
The full clip from the Ryan Tubridy Show can be heard here.
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