Ultan, James and Ronan Carroll.

Carroll family in line to feature on Contractors documentary

A Bailieborough family business is set to feature in the new series of popular TV show ‘Contractors’ this evening.

When the entertaining seven-part show returns to TG4 this week for season two, the cameras will give an insight into the lives - both professional and personal - of those in Carroll Agri.

In addition to the Carrolls, the show follows seven other contracting crews from across the country, highlighting their professional challenges, the high and lows of their daily routine as well as their hopes and dreams.

Having enjoyed the first series of Contractors last year, which featured Peter Farrelly and his family from nearby Carnaross, when the opportunity arose for the Carrolls to participate in the show they jumped at it.

“There is a lot going on here,” remarks Ultan, aware of what the programme producers are after. “We do farming, we do agricultural contract work and we do engineering, so we were probably a good catch for them because there’s a bit of everything.”

Run by Ultan and his two sons Ronan and James, Carroll Agri makes bespoke trailers, log splitters and other machinery and vehicles in their factory. His son James even built a motorbike that can go on water.

In the summer the family’s focus turns to silage, baling and harvesting work. His other son Paul, who works with Abcon in Cootehill pitches in too.

“He’s a great fitter, doing maintenance to help keep the machinery on the road. When you have baling and mowing, silage, tractors and trailers, there’s an awful lot of maintaining.”

The series meets the family as the engineering limb of their enterprise is under pressure.

“We were getting ready for the Farm Machinery Show in Cavan Equestrian Centre last year,” recalls Ultan. “They came out when we were very busy trying to get it done.”

Ultan was happy the filming didn’t add to their stress levels.

“No bother, in fairness to them they were a great bunch of lads who did it.”

Ultan traces his ability with machinery all the way back to his youth.

“When I was in primary school I remember my father getting a creamery trailer made with Denis Brady in the Forge.”

Inspired, and still aged only in single digits, Ultan “gathered up oul bits of timber” added wheels from toy tractors and sold his own trailers to school pals. Leaving school at just 14, he went to Tullyco to work for the man who had built his father’s trailer - Denis Brady. There, he learned his trade.

“He was like a father to me - he taught me so much.

“I always looked up to him, and I still look up to him, and I’m still very great with him. ”

The Carroll family took the ‘Contractors’ experience in their stride. When the Celt asked if he was nervous about appearing on TV, he was emphatic: “Not one bit in the wide world!”

It’s not just Ultan’s handiwork that will feature on ‘Contractors’ as the Grousehall man is well known for his nifty footwork too. His passion for line dancing has seen him Ultan become well used to performing in public.

“I don’t mind that at all. I do line dancing on the stage and different things and it doesn’t faze me one bit.”

The film crew shot footage of Utan alongside his fellow Breffni Kickers line dancing in Drumalee’s Orchard Bar.

Ultan says his wife Ann is a great at jiving and the pair regularly hit the Lavey Inn dancefloor, but Ann’s yet to be converted to line-dancing.

While the Carrolls are busy throughout the year they are optimistic that the TG4 series will spark even more interest and give their business. “a hell of a bump up”.

The programme will air this evening (Friday), March 21, at 9:30pm on TG4.