...all the way to the bank

...all the way to the bank

Richard Corrigan called a press conference today. All of the media who were invited to Richards restaurant  were asked to sign a waiver as it was to be recorded for his television programme….. Corrigans city silly farm. In a  flawed variation of  Jamie Olivers School Dinners taking on the Prime Minister, Corrigan has decided to call for the abolition of Bord Bia ….eh?

Recently, Richard Corrigan has turned to the big screen on RTE to do a ‘show’, Corrigans City Farm; a documentary propaganda routine more than inspiration and a lifestyle model moronically and rediculously achieved, for the cameras. Niall Harbisons post will speak to what Bord Bia have done for Ireland from a food point of view. [my qualifications are horticultural rather than culinery]

In this cartoon version of reality, hens were introduced, to be held for four weeks. Also a  chicken coup ‘home’ that cost thousands… It would have been cheaper to buy an already organic farmed one. FACT. In the first weeks of the show an amazing amount of machinery was used to clear the site…. costing [more] thousands. I know even building my own coup, raised beds etc… it will take time to ‘balance the books’ so to speak financially. But it is not about money. It is a lifestyle.  Not say Richard Corrigan. And how on Gods earth would he know…? As the old theory goes, ‘you can’t just tell people to plant their annuals when they don’t know what annuals are’, is unknown to Corrigan. One needs to explain how to grow one seed first….

I’ve had my grievances with semi states. We all have. Minor, they may have been over trees or a garden design… they were solved. Not in the public eye. Mono é mono. As gentlemen should do. But when money and fame are concerned, maybe the gentleman is entitled to sell his soul…

The Press Release:

Richard Corrigan Calls For The Abolition Of Bord Bia

Bentleys Townhouse Dublin, Ireland: 8th of May 2009: Leading Irish chef Richard Corrigan today called for the abolition of Bord Bia or at the very least a radical rethink of how the body promotes Irish food in Ireland. The current situation, he believes, is highly unsatisfactory in that Bord Bia is prevented under EU law from promoting exclusively Irish produce in the domestic market through the Quality Assurance Scheme. This means that the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme can apply to produce from any EU country and is therefore deeply flawed.

Therefore buying Bord Bia quality approved products does NOT ensure the following:

* That the products are Irish

* That the products are GMO-free

* That the interests of Irish farmers and consumers are a priority

“I believe that the promotion of Irish food abroad and the promotion of Irish food at home should be separated. I would like to call for at least a radical overhaul of Bord Bia’s role in order to preserve and create Irish jobs, to empower Irish consumers, to support Irish farmers and to see tax payers’ money spent constructively”, said Richard Corrigan. “Ireland has a unique capacity to produce the safest and highest quality food in Europe instead we are sailing in the opposite direction,” he said.

Valerie Keating, Director
GK Events and PR

If Bord Bia is abolished, what happens the landscape contractors, the nurseymen, the Quality Programmes for this sector. What happens when the sterling competes with the euro and mushroom growers are almost closed down…. when embargoes of irish beef are put in place…  when pork and other scares are internationally held… and when no garden designer had a chance in Ireland, ever, though it may well be criticised, Bloom did come along… but then the PR is working according the print media ?

This sees him trying to teach people how to deal with the credit crunch in an innovative manner by bringing back the idea of allotments in Cork and showing viewers how to become self-sufficient by growing their own fruit and vegetables.


and of course Richard has got his friend in the Irish Times:

Taking a quick look at the blogosphere on this news story, I am astonished at the number of lazy, ill-informed hotheads who claim that Corrigan’s press conference today was a publicity stunt for his Dublin restaurant (which, as it happens, is conspicuously successful). If you want a taste of this nonsense, have a look here.

I wonder if Tom can confirm then if Richard Corrigans farm is GM free and/ or organic in its entirety and reality? Or is Tom just jumping on the Simon Palmer bandwagon. Maybe Peter Mulryan of RTE would like to comment on this matter?


The following is a series of emails between genetics & biotechnology PhD Student Shane Morris of UCC and RTE. In a comical turn of events, the legal department of RTE are the only aid to Mr. Morris and more importantly Richard Corrigans Farm cannot guarantee that the Cork farms are organic.

From: Shane Morris
To: Mulryan Peter
Cc: Complaints Review ; Goan Cathal
Subject: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm
Sent: Sun 03/05/2009 01:23

Dear Peter,

I am just wondering if you could confirm if you are producing the Corrigan’s City Farm episodes relating to GM food?

I only ask as there are suggestions made that you are far from neutral on the issue of GM food as outlined on the Irish Seed Savers website http://www.irishseedsavers.ie/article.php?artid=686 as it states you have even purchased GM-free signs for your property. I hope the forthcoming episodes won’t be yet another case of RTE crucifying science and good journalistic values.

I look forward to viewing your episodes on GM foods.

Kindest regards,


From: “Mulryan Peter” <Peter.Mulryan@rte.ie>
To: Shane Morris
Subject: RE: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 10:06:42 +0100

Hi Shane,

Thanks for the email. I am the Series Producer of Corrigan’s City Farm and therefore am across all programmes. My personal feelings on GM are neither here nor there, my job is to produce a TV show. Richard Corrigan has very strong opinions on GM and they are already in the public domain, but I can assure you I would never make a  programme that crucified science for the sake of ratings.

Yes we have organised No GM signs for both our allotments as they are being run on an organic basis, a decision reached by both groups, not imposed by RTE. This is a campaigning show and you can expect plenty of robust debate on a whole range of issues between now and the end of the series.

Many thanks,
Peter Mulryan.

From: Shane Morris
To: “Mulryan Peter” <Peter.Mulryan@rte.ie>
Subject: RE: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm
Date: Tue, 05 May 2009 11:35:54 +0100

Thanks for the reply Peter.

I have heard Richard’s factless opinions on GM in the past which are without doubt a crucifion of the science on the matter. I have never seen him interview or talk to a
scientist on the matter….maybe if you wanted to do something ‘new’ for an RTE program you should have Richard invite a biotech scientist to the allotment…..just an idea…..

just as a point of interest, will the allotments be certified organic?…..might be hard to prove no disallowed chemical use on the land in the past 3 years as required under organic rules (or even within the last year as is the case in special circumstances)

Kindest regards,


From: Shane Morris
Sent: 06 May 2009 23:33
To: Complaints Review ; Shane Morris
Cc: Crowley Colm; Mulryan Peter
Subject: RE: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm

Dear Nina,

Thank you for your reply and for CCing Mr. Crowley. For your information, I enclose below an email (and my follow up reply) that I received from Mr. Mulryan, the series producer for Corrigans City Farm. It seems Mr. Mulryan is content to have Mr. Corrigan express his “opinions” on a scientific matter during a publicly funded RTE “campaigning” television production without any balance brought to bear.

I find this very strange especially as one of the UK’s most famous sustainable food/farming advocates, Jimmy Doherty of BBC2’s Jimmys Farm, last year did a production which examined the issue of GM food in a manner that attempted to move past simple “opinion” and examine the evidence in hand.(see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7745726.stm)

If even Jimmy Doherty who, as he himself has put it, has made a name for himself pandering to “the traditional, free range, farm… that wholesome thing,” (i.e. the purely aesthetic end of Britain’s food interest) can produce a balanced and thoughtful piece on GM why then can’t Mr.Corrigan et al?

Of course, there is great delight that this show is being filmed in Cork and it is wished the best of luck. However, it would be even more delightful if the suggestion made to Mr. Mulryan of having a scientist chat with Mr. Corrigan as part of the GM segment of the production be acted upon.

Thank you again for your reply and your time on this matter.

Kindest regards,

ps a review of Jimmy Doherty’s program can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2008/nov
/26/gm-foods-horizon-jimmy-doherty >


From: “Mulryan Peter” <Peter.Mulryan@rte.ie>
To: Professor O’ Connor UCC
Cc: Shane Morris, “Crowley Colm”
Subject: FW: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm
Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 10:55:39 +0100

Dear Professor O’Connor,

I am growing more and more concerned about a series of emails I am receiving from, a Shane Morris. They come from a UCC student account and Mr Morris appears to be a Phd student of yours. Could you clarify if this is a personal campaign being run by Mr Morris, or is this from your department?

There is a system within RTE and within the Broadcasting Complaints Commission to facilitate members of the public who wish to complain about a programme that has been transmitted, however there isn’t and there can’t be a way for people to comment on programmes that haven’t even been made yet.

Writing a series of mails to the producer of a show, which have been sent to the Director General, is not how the process works and could be seen as intimidation.

Many thanks for the time and I look forward to your

Peter Mulryan
Series Producer

From: Shane Morris
Sent: 07 May 2009 13:04
To: Mulryan Peter; Professor O’Connor UCC
Cc: Shane Morris; Crowley Colm
Subject: Re: FW: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm

Dear Peter,

I am sorry you seem to have taken offense at my interest in an RTE production. Please note there is no “campaign”, personal or otherwise, nor even a complaint.

As a member of the public who has had previous correspondence with Mr.Goan and others within RTE on the handling of scientific matters by RTE I felt it worthwhile
to keep them informed.

As outlined previously I wish you and RTE the best of luck with what I hope will be an informed and useful production for the Irish public.

Kindest regards,

From: “Mulryan Peter” <Peter.Mulryan@rte.ie>
To: Shane Morris
Subject: RE: FW: GM food and Corrigan’s City Farm
Date: Thu, 7 May 2009 13:19:35 +0100

From now on and as a matter of course your emails will be forwarded unread to the RTE legal department.

Peter Mulryan

and it seems anyone who isn’t a friend of richard is a ‘newsos or a snapper’ or simply just knows nothing……….. says Ernie Whalley of ForknCork. It’s not begrudgery Erin… it’s logic. As Tom suggests… be careful your blog doesn’t become ‘a taste of nonsense’ .


I just received this from Ernie Whalley via twitter.




It’s seems ‘scrap is a very big word’ all of a sudden. It’s a big massive change of direction from the original press release……. 😯 But why do a youtube video anyway….? [by the way this had 1 view and a 5 star rating when I saw it this morning]

However, I’ll save you a lot of bother here… simply listen to the first 15 seconds and then scroll to 9.00 minutes.…  enjoy!

UPDATE: To listen to Richard speak to Aidan Cotter of Bord Bia the link below:


UPDATE: the aftermath

UPDATE: dear richard corrigan and rte

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