World-class entry draws thousands to Millstreet arena
THE GALE-FORCE winds and lashing rain of Storm Brian failed to dampen the interest of thousands of dairy farmers who attended the 35th National Dairy Show, making it the biggest and most successful to date, writes Martin Ryan.
Show director John Kirby admitted: “We were concerned what impact the weather would have, but the turnout was one of our largest yet.”
His team kept the hectic day-long pro- gramme schedule on time throughout, supported by a very competent judge, Brian Carscadden, from Canada.
MC, Cork-based auctioneer Colin Johnson, kept proceedings moving swiftly and smoothly.
IHFA President, Kathleen Watson said: “The quality of stock here today are worthy of doing us proud at any show in Europe and the prizewinners could compete on the world stage.”
Meanwhile, founder member of the National Livestock Show at Tullamore, Thomas Finlay, was honoured with the National Recognition Award 2017 to mark his contribution to the development of the dairy classes at Tullamore.
A dairy farmer at Ballydaly, Tullamore, he has been instrumental in building the dairy classes at the show from 30 animals since its launch in 1991.
Now retired from dairy farming, he still maintains an interest in the running of the family’s 230 cow herd since handing over the every day operations to his daughter, Martina (Neville) and her husband, Ollie.
“I have seen a lot of changes over the time. It was a small local show when we started.
“It is now a major national event and the dairy classes have grown enormously,” he said after receiving the award.