THE dedication of two livestock breeders from Skibbereen has been marked with a prestigious award.
The Irish Aubrac Cattle Breed Society presented founding members, and the first importers of the Aubrac cattle breed into Ireland, Derry and Sean O’Driscoll of Skibbereen, with a national hall of fame award for outstanding service, dedication and commitment to the development of the breed here.
The award acknowledges individuals that have made a special contribution to excellence in the development of livestock breeding in Ireland focusing on bovine, equine and ovine breeding.
The first five Irish Aubrac calves born in Ireland where born on the farms of cousins Derry and Sean in 1992.
They had been imported from the UK as embryos. Of two bulls from this first batch of calves, Coolnagurrane Adam went on to the bull testing station in Tully and was the first Irish Aubrac bull available through AI. Thornhill Alice was the foundation cow of Sean O’Driscoll’s herd.
Derry and Sean were founding members of the Irish Aubrac Society in 1998, and were on the Council for many years, taking up voluntary positions to help advance the breed and the society.
Over the intervening period, Sean and Derry’s passion for the Aubrac breed has not dulled. They have demonstrated huge commitment to the Aubrac breed.
Both Derry and Sean’s herds are built around animals imported from France. This has required many trips to French farms and livestock shows around the Auvergne region to bring the best bloodlines back to Ireland.
James Donnellan, chairman of the Irish Aubrac Cattle Breed Society, said: ‘Derry and Sean’s constant attention to Aubrac breed characteristics and retaining and enhancing the best qualities of the Aubrac breed in developing their own herds has made an invaluable contribution to building up a top quality, consistent, base for the Aubrac breed in Ireland. Their National Hall of Fame Awards are a fitting recognition of the immense contribution that they have made to developing the Aubrac breed in Ireland, and supporting their fellow breeders and farmers that want to use Aubrac for their beef cross in dairy and in beef herds.’