Danc­ing the blues away

Irish Independent - Farming - - FEATURE -

FARM­ING can be a lonely, and stress­ful oc­cu­pa­tion and each year we hear of deaths where farm­ers have taken their own lives when they think there is no other way out of the sit­u­a­tion they find them­selves in.

“We all know that farm­ers will spend money on their an­i­mals but they are the last to spend money on them­selves,” com­mented Martina Har­ring­ton of Tea­gasc, or­gan­iser of the farm walk last week.

“Farm­ing is an in­cred­i­bly tough job and they all need to look af­ter their health, both phys­i­cally and men­tally, and we ac­tively en­cour­age farm­ers, es­pe­cially dur­ing the long evenings, to do some­thing for them­selves like go for a walk, or meet friends. We also en­cour­age them to get reg­u­lar check-ups with the doc­tor.”

Danc­ing is an­other out­let where farm­ers, both male and fe­male, can so­cialise and meet new peo­ple. “I have never seen as many peo­ple from the farm­ing com­mu­nity take up danc­ing as I have in re­cent years,” said De­clan Flana­gan of Danc­ing with De­clan which spe­cialises in coun­try jiv­ing and ball­room danc­ing in the south-east of the coun­try.

“Farm­ers as a rule are not big drinkers but we have found that they really love their danc­ing. It is a big thing for a man to join on their own, but in­stead of hav­ing too many women at times, we find the in­ter­est from men from the farm­ing com­mu­nity is mas­sive, which is fan­tas­tic to see. We are also see­ing older farm­ing cou­ples join us,” he said.

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