RTÉ Irish language series, Saol an Tréidlia (Life of a Vet), returns to our screens this week for a second season, to follow the action-packed professional lives of three West Coast vets.
This four-part observational documentary takes us into the heart of the communities each of the vets look after, from rural and urban Limerick to Connemara, Barna and the Aran Islands in Galway and follows the challenges they face when treating patients.
As reported by That’s Farming in this news article, three vets, Emma Ní Lochlainn, John Mulligan, and Liam Ó Fhloinn, deal with a range of unpredictable and emotional cases, taking challenging decisions which impact animals and owners alike.
In this news article, That’s Farming, finds out more about each of the three vets who star in the series.
Emma Ní Lochlainn, from Kilkee, Co. Clare, has wanted to be a veterinary surgeon for as long as she can remember.
She says her future was “always going to revolve around animals, and that was that”.
Beginning her career working with large animals in Clare’s Ceithre Cos practice, she has since moved to Limerick and now specialises in small animals.
She works out of Rockhall Veterinary Practice, one of four clinics between Limerick and Clare, and enjoys meeting different clients and their pets.
Born and bred in Clare, Emma loves to get down to spend time by the coast as often as possible.
Off-call, Emma loves to bake and loves getting outside and bringing her dog, Gypsy, for walks.
Galway native, John Mulligan, came home and opened a vet clinic in his mother’s former GP surgery in 2017 in Barna, Galway.
Dr Ann Gibbons was a much-respected doctor in the village. John gained a degree in microbiology before moving to Scotland to study veterinary science at the University of Glasgow.
He graduated in 2011 and went on to work in the north-east of England before returning to Ireland and working in West Donegal and then in the Offaly village of Kilcormac near Birr.
John has always dreamed of opening his own practice. So, in 2017, he and fellow Glasgow graduate and Galway native, Sara Roche, made the vision a reality when they set up West Coast Vets together.
John grew up with everything from poultry to horses, caring for a wide range of patients now from the city to the islands.
Being fluent in Irish, he does quite a lot of work with the animal communities on the Aran Islands and Connemara.
He treats a wide range of animals, from domestic pets to dairy cows, sheep, and Connemara ponies.
Liam Ó Fhloinn is an equine vet living in Limerick. Growing up on a farm in Ann Rinn Gaeltacht, Co. Waterford, he was always surrounded by animals – cattle, horses, hens, and sheep.
He graduated from UCD School of Veterinary Medicine in 1998 and spent two years working in Limerick with both small and large animals before specialising in horses.
Working his socks off, his mother said he “made it home more when he was teaching in China during college years”.
Landing a job with O’Byrne & Halley equine practice in Fethard, County Tipperary, Liam “fell into equine, loved it, and stayed for seven years”.
His expertise at the time was in mare/stallion reproduction and neonatal medicine, which brought him around the world from Kentucky to Australia.
In 2007, Liam found himself back in Limerick working for Ballybrown Equine Clinic.
Him and his wife, Áine, started to build their house and family. Their home is a busy one with five kids between 6 and 15 years of age.
Liam is now a partner at Ballybrown Clinic and is passionate about the science behind every procedure.
The medicine in equine veterinary is “much more detailed than any other animal”.
In his downtime, Liam takes to his garden and vegetable patch. Moreover, he is a devout hurling fan, too and is “passionate about the difficulties” of a Waterford supporter living in Limerick.