From Bantry to Dublin on Foot – The Farmers’ Protest Walk of 1966

Presenter Supreme on C103, John Greene kindly forwarded the following details of this Sunday night’s “Where the Road Takes Me”:

Charlie Haughey once referred to it as ‘a pipsqueak organisation’. However, the former agriculture minister would literally have to eat his words when 30,000 farmers, all members of the NFA turned up at Government Buildings. They were protesting against high rates, low incomes, and the Sean Lemass led Government’s refusal to either recognise or meet with the association. (The NFA was formed in 1955 – the precursor to the IFA, which was formed in 1971)

Thirteen days earlier, and almost exactly fifty years ago, sixteen farmers, eleven of whom who are since deceased, left the square in Bantry, as they began a 217 mile protest walk to Dublin. They were led by NFA President Rickard Deasy, with his trademark black beret and walking stick. Although thousands of farmers would converge on the Capital from all over the country, the Bantry walk was regarded as pivotal to a successful campaign.

This week, in the first of a two part programme on Where the road takes me, and on the 50th anniversary, John Greene meets three of the five surviving members of the Bantry walk. We look back on the reasons that drove these men to undertake this gruelling task. What did they hope to achieve, and did they succeed?

We hear from those who provided physical and moral support along the way, and from those who remained behind to look after home and farm.


We gain access to a diary written on the walk by the late Sean o’Brien. His Grandson, Shane o’Brien reads extracts from the diary given to him by his Grandfather one week before he died in 2011.

From Bantry to Dublin on foot – the farmer’s protest walk of 1966. The first in a two part programme on Where the road takes me, this Sunday evening at 7, on C103.

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