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Ousted Mary is back in her wellies for new role on Feirm Factor

FORMER Minister Mary Coughlan may have lost her job as Minister for Agriculture but she'll now be donning her wellies again as a TV judge.

The out-of-work politician has found a new job as the judge on season four of the TG4 reality show Feirm Factor -- replacing former judge Alan Dukes.

Ms Coughlan will judge the efforts of farmers along with Sean O'Lionaird as they fence, weld, handle animals, and display their general knowledge on farming.

And she joins her former colleague Mary Hanafin in a TV judging role, since Ms Hanafin is participating in TG4's An G Team.

Evan Chamberlain, director of Feirm Factor, said we'll be seeing Ms Coughlan being more relaxed and more chatty now that she's out of the Dail.

"She's a very young and very vibrant person," he said.

"Mary will be our expert since she was Minister for Agriculture and she comes from a farming background in Donegal and she's had dealings with the red tape and concerns of farmers through her role as minister.

"Up to now we've had Alan Dukes as a judge but this year we're bringing people in from different levels, like political levels, farming and business."

The former minister has finished filming her slot for the show, and audiences will now have to wait until January 2012 when Feirm Factor will be aired.

"Mary Coughlan will be with us from programme three, Trevor Sargent will be with us as well along with Eanna ni Lamha who's involved with An Taisce and is interested in the flora and fauna of our country," added Mr Chamberlain.

Twelve farmers will fight for the top prize, a Land Rover Discovery, and challenge their farming skills, business acumen and physical and mental endurance. Some 212 applications were received.