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Irish Limousin Cattle Society, Kilglass, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

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In what was described as one of the most prestigious days in the history of the Limousin breed in Ireland, the Irish Limousin Cattle Society launched their newest publication, Irish Limousin, A History on the 23rd October in Kinnity Castle, in Co. Offaly.

Launched by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith T.D., this publication charts the progress of the Limousin breed in Ireland from its conception in 1971 to the massive success story that it is in modern day agriculture in Ireland now standing as the No.1 Beef Breed in AI and the No.1 Suckler Dam. The book encompasses 160 pages of stories, facts, statistics and pictures all brought together chronologically in one intriguing publication.

It was written by Donal O’Brien, an Agricultural Science and Masters graduate who also runs the family farm in Tallow, Co. Waterford. The book was the first publication of this avid Limousin breeder who has been a member of the Irish Limousin Cattle Society, since 1989.

At the launch were many people who, over the years, have given much to the development of the breed. Among them were the first importers of Limousin into Ireland. There were also founder members of the Irish Limousin Cattle Society and successive members and presidents of the Limousin council along with successive secretaries of the society. The society was also very pleased to welcome Mr Jim Bloom the recently appointed chairman of the British Limousin Cattle Society and his wife Margaret.

Past presidents( front ) Seamus Cody, Templemore, William Smith, Oldcastle,( current holder), Ray Carolan, Cavan, Roger McCarrick, Drumree, ( back ) Dick Collins, Fermoy, John Moroney, Corofin, Martin McCullagh, Drumconrath, Nicholas Grubb, Clogheen & Ernie Buttimer, Clonakilty. Photo O'Gorman Photography.

Former secretaries: Michael Leahy, Cobh, Annette McAllister, Dublin, Ger Ryan, Cappamore, Barbara Grubb, Clogheen & Noel Gowen, Kilworth ( current holder ).Photo O'Gorman Photography.

Also at the launch were representatives for the greater agricultural industry with whom the society has been associated – Department of Agriculture, Allied Irish Bank, who sponsored the launch, Agricultural Press, Mart Managers, AI bodies, FBD, and many more.

Commenting on the launch, breed Chief Executive Noel Gowen said that the day was a celebration of Irish Limousin cattle and the people who have made the breed so successful and it provided for a strong sense of achievement and history. It was great for people to remember the early days of the breed and to re-acquaint with many friends.

With the formalities over, guests were treated to a meal of Limousin steak provided by Eurovee and then some humorous memoirs of one of the founder members of the society, Dick Collins. Overall a very enjoyable day was had by all.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Mr. Brendan Smith T.D

Speaking at the launch, Minister Smith provided an insightful summary of the success of the Limousin breed in Ireland by saying that the first animals of the Limousin breed to be imported into Ireland arrived in 1971 and numbers in Ireland have grown exponentially in the 37 years since. He outlined that the foresight of those involved in the initial imports of Limousin animals to Ireland has been rewarded in the tremendous uptake of the breed on this island. The Limousin is now one of Ireland’s most popular beef breeds; in 2007, 27% of all beef calves registered had Limousin cross dams. The herdbook consists of over 18,000 pedigree females, with over 8,000 animals being registered on an annual basis. He also said that the breed also plays an key role as terminal beef sire for the dairy herd; in 2007 almost 100,000 dairy cows were mated to Limousin sires.

He acknowledged that the hard work of past Society secretaries directly contributed in to the success of the breed since 1971 and the progressive thinking they employed was continued into the early 1990’s with the Limousin Society being one of the first breed societies to implement linear scoring of all cattle entering the society’s pedigree herdbook. This provided an excellent source of data for the breed to build on and develop. This data forms an integral part of the ICBF database today and has seen the breed excel in the Eurostar genetic evaluation system for beef animals. He commended the breed for its active participation in the Gene Ireland system for the progeny testing of young bulls and a significant number of pedigree Limousin weanlings have been scored and weight recorded as part of  ICBF’s Genetic Recording of Weanlings (GROW) programme. 

" Irish Limousin-A History "
Noel Gowen, secretary ILCS, William Smith, Oldcastle, president ILCS, Brendan Smith, Minister for Agriculture & Donal O'Brien, Tallow, Co. Waterford, author. Photo O'Gorman Photography

Irish Limousin Cattle Society President, Mr. William Smith

In his capacity as current Limousin Society President, William Smith paid tribute to everyone involved in the compilation of this invaluable historical asset.  He paid particular tribute to the author Donal O Brien by saying that it was only fitting that the History should have been penned by one of the Society’s own members.  He commended him for the endless hours and effort he put into the compilation.  He also paid tribute to the legendary secretariat of Nicholas and Barbara Grubb. 

William Smith, Oldcastle, Co. Meath, president ILCS, Brendan Smith, Minister for Agriculture & Donal O'Brien, Tallow, Co. Waterford, author. Photo O'Gorman Photography

William commented that it is the success and value of Limousin Genetics in the cattle industry of Ireland that is the real story and why so many of the Society members can feel justifiably proud of their part in the process. The many stockmen and women who continually upgraded their herd played a hugely significant role in the development of the breed.  He also thanked the past presidents and council members of the Limousin Society for their forward and progressive thinking which has led the Limousin breed to its current successful position.

The book is available from the Limousin office (025 85036) at a cost of €26 (incl post & package).

 

 

 

Irish Limousin - A History

 

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