The always excellent, Saturday morning RTÉ Radio One, CountryWide put out a request, this morning, for memorabilia from a groundbreaking agri/educational programme which was presented by the late Justin Keating.
Telifís Feirme was the title of the programme and on this morning’s CountryWide, presenter Damien O’Reilly asked people who followed the series if they had either the booklet which accompanied the series or the certificate issued to those who followed it and passed the exams at its conclusion. The series ran for two years from 1965 and was presented by Mr. Keating who was a vet and politician and the programme won him a Jacob’s Award in 1966.
Minister for Industry and Commerce
Justin Keating was head of agricultural programmes at RTÉ for a couple of years before returning to Trinity College in 1967.
He was Minister for Industry and Commerce in the Fine Gael / Labour government from 1973 to 1977 and an MEP and later served a term as a Senator. He died on 31 December 2009, a week before his eightieth birthday.
Former IFA leader, Donal Cashman recalled, on CountryWide this morning, the gatherings around the television programme at the time.
On one of the programmes Justin Keating also explained how to tune in a television set. He then went on to discuss the different housing requirements for farm animals based on the Irish weather. This series attempted to educate farmers on modern farming methods.
At a time when not every home had a television set, the Department of Agriculture subsidised the rental of sets so that members of agricultural organisations could come together to watch and discuss the programmes in centres around the country.
Now, the late Mr. Keating’s widow, Barbara Hussey is hoping to collect some memorabilia from that generally regarded groundbreaking programme.
In the request for the certs CounrtyWide is not looking for your originals and they stress that they do not want hard or physical copies and will be delighted to get good quality copies.
The appeal from this morning’s programme sets out its stall thus:
1. Do any listeners have certificates from the tests set by Telefis Feirme in 1967?
Are you willing to send a copy in to Countrywide?
2. Estimates of the number of certificates vary from 2,000 to upwards of 10,000. Do the listeners have any ideas on the number of participants?
3. There was an essay competition sponsored by Massey Ferguson. There were three groups
1) under 15 years old; 2) 15-17 years old and 3) 17-19 years old.
600 contestants entered the competition. The judging was done by Justin Keating. Winners were announced on 5th March 1966.
The prize was a trip to Denmark with Justin Keating. Any memories? Mail to us: Cwide@rte.ie – no physical copies please!
Watch Telefis Feirme on the RTE Archives site.
And also http://www.rte.ie/archives/exhibitions/2257-on-the-farm