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HomeFarming NewsETTG: 23-year-old Laois farmer undergoing treatment for stage 3 skin cancer
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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ETTG: 23-year-old Laois farmer undergoing treatment for stage 3 skin cancer

Tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground will feature segments on skin cancer, Brexit, and a couple’s unlikely, but successful venture into farming.

Conor Stapleton – skin cancer

Of all the worries that Conor Stapleton may have had, getting skin cancer was certainly not one of them.

He had farm work to get on with as well as all of the usual life experiences and possibilities of a 23-year-old reared in rural Laois.

Towards the end of last year, he noticed a skin tag on his back. A visit to his GP yielded a referral to a dermatologist. Then, confirmation he had stage 3 skin cancer. Now, 9 months and 3 surgeries later, Conor is still undergoing treatment.

He took time to share his story with Helen Carroll on the family farm in Vicarstown, and advocate for outdoor workers and farmers to protect themselves against the sun. Billing:

Potato seeds and Brexit

It may be our national vegetable but over half the potato seed planted in Ireland is imported. 90% comes from Great Britain. But with Brexit just weeks away, growers face a ban on the import of seed and ware potatoes from our closest neighbours.

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Darragh McCullough visits potato farmer Mark Sheridan in Co. Meath on the last day of the rooster harvest.

Mark is being forced to buy seed early and store it over the winter. Mark and farmers like him do not know where their 2022 seed will come from.

Darragh also talks to farmer and seed grower Charlie Doherty from Donegal about his plans to expand into the Irish market. Could Brexit provide an opportunity for Irish seed growers?

Manna Farm

When Claire and Tom O’Connor returned from travelling the world in a campervan, they were eager for their next venture.

Tom was a publican and Claire worked in IT, but the couple decided to take a chance with a fresh start in farming.

They bought 25-acres of land near Tralee Co Kerry and turned it into an organic enterprise, growing crops such as turnips and kale, and raising poultry and the occasional cow.

Ella McSweeney visits the farm and follows Tom and Claire to their farm shop in Tralee, teasing out how this adventurous couple are making their small enterprise work.


Tune into programme three on RTÉ 1 tonight (Thursday, November 5th, 2020) at 8:30pm.

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