If you think the Garden of Ireland is a sleepy haven of unremarkable people and things - then think again.  The weekly, Wicklow This Week magazine programme likes to lift the lid on people, ideas and events from around the vibrant county.

It is presented each week by our own columnist here at Irish Central, Jillian Godsil, who has lived in Wicklow for twenty years, so still a blowin, and the show is a lively view of the county’s people and what they are up to. Quite a lot it would appear.

Listen live on Saturday morning at 9am (GMT +1) 

This week’s show began with an interview with young TK Max worker Cian Keogh. He began work with TK Max as a young sixteen year old and has been there for ten years – all his working life. The interview with Cian was in the telephone as he and his fellow Arklow TK Max workers were on strike outside the Bridgewater Centre to protest their working conditions. Notably, low pay rates, no pay scales and last minute rostering. TK Max is using IBEC as its advisory body. The strikers are with Mandate Trade Union. But the two sides are not talking despite a Labour Court instruction. Cian was very articulate and passionate – and got a few beeps from passing cars as the interview went on.

We hope both sides do start talking - but did I mention the goldfish donated by TK Max to the staff canteen but not on the menu, thankfully.

Next up Margaret Hocker from Kilmullen Farm was on to talk about Breast Cancer and the competition run by Breast Cancer Ireland, now in its third year, to encourage farmers to wrap their silage in the distinctive bright pink wraps. Last year Margaret, who had a breast cancer scare but fortunately was all clear, posted a picture of her in matching bright pink dungarees jumping on her pink bales. Her picture won the competition.  The competition is supported by Glanbia.

Margaret’s farm is well known for its lamb which she sells direct to the public, either at farmer markets or online.  She has been having a busy week with Bord Bia inviting top Italian chefs to come and host a lunch at her farm.  The chefs were delighted to use mostly Wicklow produce, although they did bring their own olive oil. It was a great day and honor according to Margaret.

For more information visit her twitter

And of course we could not interview Margaret without saying hello to Eamon her husband – we’ve all decided he is a saint.  Hello Eamon!

It was also somewhat ironic as the #pinkbales are under pressure – not from grumpy farmers – but the weather. As we head into another week of Mediterranean-like weather and no rain, our little Ireland is slowing turning from green to brown. Farmers are not only worried that they won’t get a vital second cut, but some of them are already forced into feeding this year’s fodder to animals as there is no grass.

On the line to talk about the dire situation and blazing gorse fires was the chief fire officer for Wicklow Aidan Dempsey. One thing that came up was many of the fires were reigniting as the warm dry weather and winds could easily kick them off again.

Aidan stressed – don’t light fires, don’t chuck cigarette butts out of car windows (don’t anyway) and don’t light bbqs on the grass. Everything is dry as tinder.

Michael Sargeant, East Coast FM’s resident sporting broadcaster provided us with all the sport from around the county.

And then in studio was the amazing aforementioned neo psychedelic band called Birds of Olympus. Formed by Rathnew man Spud Murphy he was joined in studio with two other band members Robin and Donal.  They were playing at the Groove Festival in Kilruddery House. You can listen to them here – fabulous sound and they have a new debut ep – go and buy it. And listen here

So that’s a warp (pink silage wrap) with thanks to all our guests in and out of studio and to the hard working production team of Alex Petkov and Sheila Naughton (check out her instragram – she’s one feisty woman for one woman)

That was Wicklow This Week, until Next Week, 9am to 10am on East Coast FM with me, Jillian Godsil


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