A quest to produce the most tender meat has led one firm to play Percy French songs to cattle before they are slaughtered.

Stressed cattle tense their muscles and produce tough meat, music seems to relax the animals

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said he receives between €60,000 and €80,000 in subsidies for his farm enterprise, and the fact that people like him received subsidies was  wrong. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

Marian Harkin describes Michael O’Leary as ‘a multi-millionaire hobby farmer’

In an effort to reduce the number of sheep attacks, the Irish Farmers Association has called on dog owners to ensure their pets are under control at all times. Photograph: Chris Helgren/Reuters

Irish Farmers Association calls on dog owners to take responsibility for pets

Shania Mc Donagh from Claremorris, Co Mayo, with her winning portrait in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin,  this week. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Drawn to art: Shania McDonagh’s pencil portrait wins overall prize

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: called a meeting of beef processors, farm organisations and groups such as Teagasc and Bord Bia following the deterioration in relations between factories and farmers. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Coveney to introduce online tool which tracks beef prices

Winner milks 103 cows and is ‘passionate about dairy farming’

Texaco art winner Shania Mc Donagh left from Claremorris, Co Mayo with her winning portrait at the  Hugh Lane Gallery . Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Judge hails Shania McDonagh (16) as one of the most talented artists of her generation

A mass offering of racing silks is brought from St Brigid’s Church at the funeral of Marguerite Weld at the Curragh. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

Mourners remember an ‘amazing woman’ and one of ‘nature’s gentlemen’

The Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas was set up to creat a plan to drive rural economic development and create jobs. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Taoiseach to launch report today that will make series of recommendations on ways to revive rural areas

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