A new TV series on TG4, Mná na Talún, is set to follow four women in farming across the four seasons of a single farming year in a new four-part series later this month.
Úna Ní Bhroin, Hannah Doherty, Bríd Ní hIcí and Clíona Ní Conghaile will feature in the series, which will screen on November 23rd, 2022, at 8:30 pm.
- Hannah Doherty is a young, enterprising sheep farmer on the Derry-Donegal border;
- Bríd Ní hIcí aims to be as self-sufficient as possible – growing vegetables and keeping pigs and goats on her smallholding in Gaoth Dobhair;
- Clíona Ní Conghaile raises cattle in the traditional style on the unique landscape of Inis Mór, one of the most important areas of biodiversity in Ireland;
- Úna Ní Bhroin has spent two decades building up Beechlawn Organic Farm in Ballinasloe along with her husband, Pádraig.
In the first episode, spring is upon the farmers, and we meet Úna Ní Bhroin, where we learn of her commitment to organic farming as an ethical and environmental choice.
She discusses the financial difficulties and stress this can create, particularly as a working mother of four children.
Hannah Doherty is in the middle of lambing season, the busiest time of the year for her and her husband, Tommy.
We witness Hannah handling a difficult birth that results in a safe delivery, and we see her hand feed the safely delivered lamb.
Then, we meet Bríd Ní hIcí gathering seaweed on the beach in Gaoth Dobhair– it is a natural fertiliser for use in her polytunnel and reflects her interest in self-sufficiency and natural farming methods.
We are also introduced to her small family of animals – her goats and horses, as well as Séamus and Pádraig, two young pigs she is rearing their meat.
Clíona Ni Chonghaile introduces us to the “unique and stunning” landscape of Inis Mór on the Árann Islands and how it supports a particular type of cattle farming not found anywhere else in Ireland.
Her primary concern is that this traditional way of farming is under threat as young people are more reluctant to stay on the island.
Episode 2, on November 30th, 2022, focuses on the work taking place on each farm during the summer months.
The third episode, on December 7th, takes us through the harvest in autumn, and the final episode, on December 14th, 2022, sees the farmers prepare for the winter months.