A mam­moth achieve­ment

Martin Ryan

Irish Independent - Farming - - PEDIGREE AND SALES -

new breeds right up to the present. And af­ter that we have the great va­ri­ety of lo­cal con­ti­nen­tal breeds, their par­tic­u­lar at­tributes and the of­ten unique lo­cal tra­di­tions of hus­bandry,” he wrote.

From the ori­gins of cat­tle, the lay­out is sec­tioned into breeds na­tive to Ire­land — such as the White Cow, the Brindled Cow, as well as Kerry, Dex­ter, Moiled and Droimeann — breeds in­tro­duced through Bri­tain and the Chan­nel Is­lands, the ar­rival of con­ti­nen­tal breeds 1965-1992, and the more re­cent ar­rivals. There is a fas­ci­nat­ing sec­tion on the lesser known breeds, in­clud­ing the Bri­tish White, the Speckle Park and Sta­biliser. What breed most im­pressed him?

“The Parthenaise is prob­a­bly the most dy­namic breed so­ci­ety in France at the mo­ment. The breed was al­most extinct in France. They were down to 12 reg­is­tered pedi­gree breed­ers when ev­ery­one got be­hind the breed be­cause it was dis­ap­pear­ing and, to­day, there are 60,000 Parthenaise cows in France,” he said.

“I found the breed so­ci­ety in France very ef­fi­cient and they are also very ef­fi­cient in Ire­land and for­ward look­ing.

“Since 1990, the English farm­ers have hardly adopted any of the newer breeds from France. There are hardly any Aubracs in Bri­tain, very few Parthenaise and very few Saler, but here they are thriv­ing — and th­ese farm­ers are only get­ting into gear at this stage.”

The beautifully-pro­duced pub­li­ca­tion, Cat­tle Breeds In Ire­land — A His­tory is set to be­come a trea­sure in every li­brary and the homes of live­stock breed­ers across the coun­try for gen­er­a­tions to come.

Greg Walsh with his son Dick (left) and daugh­ters Gemma and Claire at the book launch

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