RAISING THE BAR IN THE BURREN
NORTH CLARE farmer Michael Davoren has been presented with the Paddy Fitzgerald Memorial award for 2018 in recognition of his lifetime voluntary service to farming and his local community, writes Martin Ryan.
Michael, who farms in Kilfenora, was instrumental in the founding of Burren LIFE to provide an environmental scheme to protect one of the most sensitive farming areas in the country.
Burren LIFE succeeded in getting a derogation allowing the age-old practices of Burren winterage farming to continue.
This brought Teasgasc and NPWS and Burren farmers together as equal partners, something that had never happened before, to apply for life funding from the EU to come up with an innovative way to manage the environment through farming.
Michael is also heavily involved in his local GAA club, spearheading a project in the late ’70s to mark the centenary of the GAA in 1884 in honour of founder Michael Cusack, who was from the same parish.
The award, sponsored by FBD and IFA, commemorates the late Paddy Fitzgerald who was Munster vice president of IFA, a founder member of FBD 50 years ago, vice-chairman of Cork Marts and a board member of Golden Vale Marts.
Pictured at the award presentation were: Michael Davoren and his wife Elizabeth; Fiona Muldoon, CEO, FBD Insurance; Joe Healy, IFA president and EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan.