Brendan Stewart, Reed Cutter
Brendan Stewart is one of the few remaining reed cutters still harvesting along the Bunratty reed beds on the Shannon Estuary. The backbreaking work involves the reed being harvested after the first frosts which strip off all of the leaves and you are left with a golden stem 5 to 7 feet in height.
A roof thatched with water reed can last up to 40 years in Ireland. In recent years, imported reed from Eastern Europe has taken its toll on the numbers keeping the tradition here alive.