2016 National Hall of Fame Awards Fiona Gilsenan
This year’s National Hall of Fame Award winner for the ILCS is Mrs. Fiona Gilsenan of Ardglasson Limousin’s based in Kells, Co. Meath. Since the purchase of a Foundation female in 1983, the name Ardglasson has become synonymous with excellent Limousin Livestock, which are much in demand from both the home and UK markets. View report >>>
2009 Hall of Fame Award for George F Candler
Anyone that attends an official pedigree Limousin sale in Ireland will be familiar with the name of George Candler, the Irish Limousin Cattle Society auctioneer. George, a native of county Roscommon, is the son of the late James Conry Candler who was the chairman of Roscommon Mart and who in turn was a friend of Mick Gibbons, Chairman of Kilkenny Mart. Hence why George ended up in Kilkenny. George commenced work at Kilkenny Co-Op Livestock mart in 1972 as a trainee auctioneer and has been a full time employee of the mart ever since.
In addition to auctioneering, George is a man of many varied interests. For instance, many will know him from his weekly mart report which he delivers each Thursday evening on KCLR FM. Residing in Kilkenny city with his wife Sharon, he is deeply involved with charity work in Kilkenny and does numerous charity auctions along with various other fundraising activities. George is also a member of Kilkenny Lyons club. Recognition of his involvement in the different areas of charity and time devoted to People in Need have come in the form of two awards – Kilkenny Person of the Year in 2003 and winner of the Humanitarian Category that same year.
Music also plays a large role in George’s life. He is involved in the Kilkenny Musical Society, the Friary Folk Choir and the Kilkenny Gospel choir where he has a solo spot on a recently released CD.
George also has a keen interest in sport and is involved in coaching the Kilkenny Rugby team at under 13 and under 14 levels. Roscommon may be a predominantly football county however it comes as no great surprise that George has a keen interest in hurling.
Nicholas and Barbara Grubb, having met Nicholas through Kilkenny Livestock Mart, introduced George to the Limousin Society in the early 1980’s. In the early years, there were only a small number of sales held however with the rise in membership and the subsequent increase in pedigree Limousin cattle, the Society now stage nine official sales annually, with George being the official auctioneer at each of them. George has acquired a deep knowledge of the breed and has the valuable asset of being able to know the different bloodlines and superior sires as the different lots enter the sales ring.
Breeders have built a relationship with George over the years, some going back to the very first sales in the early 1980’s. Both national and international customers, along with vendors, have come to enjoy George’s style of selling, in particular his jovial banter. He has the ability to entertain a sales ring with humourous comments while still being able to get the very last bid from a customer, even though they may already have shook their head negatively a moment previously.
George Candler, through his professional dedication to his job, coupled with the ability to have built up a relationship with breeders and also having gathered knowledge of the breed has in no doubt been a major asset in the development of the Limousin breed. This makes George a very worthy recipient of the Hall of Fame award on behalf of the Limousin breed.
National Hall of Fame Awards 2008 Limousin Recipient Ray Carolan
This year’s recipient of the Irish Limousin Hall of Fame Award is Ray Carolan from Cavan. A renowned footballer, he was a member of the famous Cavan team of the 1960’s winning 4 Ulster football titles, 6 Railway cup medals with Ulster and two Cuchulainn awards (forerunners to the All-Stars).
He bought his first pedigree Limousin animals in 1984 and thus began a lifelong love affair with the Limousin breed. The first animals came from the Ballydaniel herd bought with the help of fellow Limousin friend Seamus Cody.
Ray served on the council of Irish Limousin Cattle Society from 1985-2002 and was President of the society from 1991-1994. He was President of the International Limousin Congress from 1992-1994 and was one of the main persons responsible for bringing the World Limousin Conference to Ireland in 1994 which focused the Limousin world’s attention to Ireland for a week.
Having a keen eye for a good animal he purchased stockbull Grange Balerno who went on to win National Limousin Champion in 1990 and became one of the leading sires in the breed in the 1990’s.
Ray is still very involved in Limousin with his Carwin herd still featuring prominently at shows and sales. An active member of his local North East Limousin Club he has held various officer positions in the club through the years and is heavily involved in the cattle section of Virginia Agricultural Show. He is a board member of Bord Bia and is current chairman of their Meat & Livestock Committee. He can only be described as a very busy man but is always available to give assistance and advice.
Ray Carolan is therefore a very worthy recipient of the 2008 Hall of Fame Award for the Limousin Breed.
National Hall of Fame Awards 2007 Limousin Recipient Michael Leahy
Michael Leahy is Cork born but from the famous Tipperary hurling family in Boherlahan. He was one of the pioneers of the Limousin breed in Ireland and the success of the breed today is down to Michael’s foresight. Michael worked for the Hibernian group which was owned by John A. Mulcahy, an Irish American who owned several farms in Ireland including Kilfrush House where President Nixon stayed on his Irish visit. He was involved in the first importation of pedigree Limousin for the Hibernian Group and these were based at the farm in Kilfrush, Knocklong, Co. Limerick.
The Kilfrush & Hibernian prefix can be seen in numerous herds today and over the years exported pedigree Limousin cattle to the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland & England.
He was the first secretary of the society appointed at the inaugural meeting of the Irish Limousin Cattle Society on the 16th February 1973. The office was then based in 52 South Mall, Cork where he worked with Ms. Annette McAllister his PA for a number of years. He served as breed secretary until early 1977 and was a member of council to 1984. He revolutionized the concept of pedigree continental cattle and placed a higher fee for the registration of these which in turn allowed breed societies to be more active in marketing & promoting their breeds. His achievements during his time of involvement with the Limousin breed are numerous. He organized the first ever Limousin sale at Carrick on Shannon in April 1977. The cheese and wine reception sponsored by Sopexa and the French embassy held the night before in the Bush Hotel is still being talked about. He organized the Irish Limousin Cattle sale in Des-Moine Iowa, U.S.A. in August 1976 where 20 Irish bred Limousins were sold. The first Limousin exhibit at the R.D.S. Spring Show in 1976 was a spectacular success providing Irish farmers their first insight into what the Limousin breed had to offer. The forward thinking nature of the man was evident when he was instrumental in setting up the ‘Doug Lewis accord’ the then secretary of British Limousin Cattle Society whereby the island of Ireland was treated as one entity. These are but a few of the ideas this energetic man brought to his role in the Irish Limousin Cattle Society and for that we thank him. Michael is now retired from a successful coal importing business and is living in Cobh, Co. Cork.
National Hall of Fame Awards 2006 Limousin Recipients Barbara and Nicholas Grubb
The Grubb name will always go hand in hand with Irish Limousin. Nicholas being a great advocate of Limousin from the beginning importing eight heifers from France in the early 1970’s when still a student and being one of the 10 signatories at the inaugural meeting in the Silversprings Hotel, Cork in 1975. He was President of the society in 1979 when he and Barbara were married. It is rumored that Nicholas took Barbara to France for their honeymoon but with the alterative motive of buying a bull for their Castle herd back home. It was shortly after that in 1981 that Barbara took on the role of secretary a position that she held for 24 years. Nicholas working on a voluntary basis from its infancy joined the society as an employee in 1990. The early years of the society were difficult with funds scarce so to raise much needed monies ‘a raffle for a bull’ was decided upon. Nicholas was part of the roadshow team, which meant selling tickets in marts nationwide for a Limousin bull. In the first month they were worried what may happen and would the bull even survive. In actual fact the bull put on 50 kgs and Nicholas lost a stone.
The contribution of this dynamic duo made to the Limousin breed will take many pages to fill but some of their initiatives were the introduction of linear scoring of all pedigree Limousin cattle which led to the BLUP evaluation system that brought science to cattle breeding and allowed selection decisions to take place. Irish Limousin was the first to score animals for docility that has lead to many countries following their lead. The unheard of concept of showing cattle at the Ploughing let alone in a plastic tunnel started in Oakpark 1989 and continues to this day. These are but a few of the forward thinking ideas they brought to the breed.
Their own Castle herd was growing providing many leading herds with herd sires during the years but in 1989 they decided to disperse their herd due to work and family commitments. It turned out to be a humdinger of a sale grossing up to nearly £300,000. A few of the ‘old ladies’ were too old to sell and were kept to have their calves thus providing the nucleus of another herd build up.
During their time with the Irish Limousin the herdbook increased dramatically to 2,000 pedigree breeders and over 6,000 pedigree registrations annually and 18% of the calf births nationally, no mean achievement from small beginnings in the early 70’s. It should not be forgotten that in the early years funds were scarce but this never deterred Barbara & Nicholas from giving of their time dealing with breeders queries or in the field promoting the breed at shows & sales. Eventhough they have now moved on to other areas - Nicholas to I.C.B.F. and Barbara to pursue other interests, their interest in all things Limousin remains undiminished with their Castle herd making a return to the show and sales scene in 2007.
They have left the society in a strong position and the strength of the breed today is largely due to their time, dedication and foresight.
National Hall of Fame Awards 2005 Limousin Recipient Seamus Cody
Seamus Cody is one of the pioneers of Limousin breeding in Ireland. In the early 1970’s, Seamus saw the potential of these native French red cattle for the beef and dairy industry in Ireland. In 1971, supported by his wife Mary, he went to France and selected 10 yearling heifers and 1 stock bull. This was to be the start of a long and enduring love affair with the Limousin breed and the well known highly regarded Ballysorrell Limousin Herd.
This Ballysorrell Limousin Herd flourished in the 1970’s, with the increased recognition of Limousin as a beef breed. Then followed a period of change with the loss of the American market and also the Northern Irish breeders from the Irish Herdbook. These hiccups left the Irish Limousin Society in the doldrums but the indefatigable Seamus, as President of the Irish Limousin Cattle Society at the time, initiated the now famous Road Show. This involved raffling a pedigree bull selling tickets at all the livestock marts in the country. This Road Show put the Irish Limousin Cattle Society on a firm footing.
During the 1980’s, Seamus continued to breed Limousin cattle very successfully and such was his expertise and knowledge of Limousin that he was invited to judge at shows at home, in the U.K. and France, where he is known by the French breeders as Monsieur Cody. His advice was sought in the selection of cattle for new and existing herds and his words of wisdom are still in demand. Seamus, although officially retired, being the affable and generous man that he is, continues to impart his knowledge to those who seek it.
During his many travels in France, Monsieur Cody saw the advantage that the French Linear System of Scoring would be to Ireland .He helped initiate this system here, which led to the BLUP system we have in use today. He was the first Linear Scoring Inspector in Ireland. He travelled the length and breadth of the country, introducing and demonstrating the system to Irish breeders.
In Canada at the International Limousin Conference in 2002, Monsieur Cody was one of only five people worldwide; to be honoured by the French Government and was awarded a Medal of Honour in recognition of his unique contribution to the Limousin breed in Ireland. Though less actively involved now, Seamus’s interest in all things Limousin remains undiminished. He continues to travel to shows here, in the U.K. and in France, where he is easily recognised and highly regarded. It is fitting that, at last, after 35 years, this contribution to Limousin is finally being recognised here at home.