In Mo­hill Mart

Irish Independent - Farming - - RINGSIDE EXTRA -

WORDS:

MARTIN COUGH­LAN AUC­TION­EER PJ Reynolds is in full flow at Mo­hill cat­tle mart. “He’s big for the money,” he de­clares of the per­fect Charo­lais spec­i­men parad­ing in the ring.

The buy­ers agree and in 15 sec­onds the price has flashed up to €3/kg. The ques­tion then be­comes whose de­sires are truly backed by big­ger money. The ham­mer falls at €3.30/kg as an­other Leitrim-bred Charo­lais bull wean­ling heads south to the fat­ten­ing lands of the mid­lands and the east.

Leitrim is suck­ler coun­try and Mo­hill mart is one of a num­ber of marts in the county that caters to the needs of this vi­tal sec­tor. “There are five marts in Leitrim so it’s not sim­ple,” says man­ager Stephen Han­non. In­deed, but with its cen­tral lo­ca­tion, in the south of the county, Mo­hill mart has been fend­ing off the op­po­si­tion suc­cess­fully for gen­er­a­tions.

His­tory records that Mo­hill’s first agri­cul­tural show was held in 1927 and that the cur­rent mart

PHO­TOS:

BRIAN FAR­RELL opened its doors in 1973, with the days of its fa­mous fair then num­bered.

But those by­gone fair days have left a very tan­gi­ble legacy in the form of what are known as ‘Mon­aghan days’ at Mo­hill mart. Th­ese are in ef­fect show and sale marts held in the month of Fe­bru­ary whose ori­gins date back to the time of the fair. At that time, buy­ers from Mon­aghan were amongst the most ac­tive, hence the name. To­day, how­ever, Mo­hill’s ‘Mon­aghan sales’ at­tract buy­ers from all over the coun­try, a tes­ta­ment to the abil­i­ties of Leitrim’s farm­ers to breed qual­ity.

In the back­ground, how­ever, lurks the con­cerns voiced by farm­ers of forestry and the fu­ture of suck­lers. “In the farm­ing sense, suck­ling is what we do here, not forestry. Mo­hill mart is built on that farm­ing tra­di­tion and the prof­itabil­ity of breed­ing the best bet­ter,” says Stephen.

Above: This Fe­bru­ary 2017-born Limousin Cross wean­ling bull weigh­ing 626kg sold for €1,550

Right: This Fe­bru­ary 2017-born Bel­gian Blue wean­ling bull weigh­ing 370kg sold for €1,350

Left: This De­cem­ber 2016-born Limousin Cross wean­ling bull weigh­ing 535kg sold for €1,200

Above: This Fe­bru­ary 2017-born Limousin Cross wean­ling bull weigh­ing 665kg sold for €1,870

Left: Mo­hill’s ‘Mon­aghan sales’ at­tracts buy­ers from all over the coun­try

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