BANDON man Pat McCarthy on Saturday, July 1st, assumed his new role as president of the Irish Hereford Breed Society.
In his second term as a member of the society’s council, Pat represents the members of the Munster branch with special emphasis on his local hinterland where the West Cork Hereford Club is very active. From Ballymore, Bandon, he brings to the position a cool, calm head with extensive experience of dealing with dairy and beef farmers and their issues as manager of Cork Marts in Skibbereen and Bandon where he spent most of his adult life.
While manager at Bandon Mart, he was responsible – along with then local council member Frank Appelbe – for initiating the now annual and very successful Bandon Hereford bull show and sale. This outlet has expanded over the years with the quality improving year-on-year to become a go-to venue for both local breeders and those farmers who use a Hereford bull.
One of the stalwarts amongst his colleagues from the club, Pat has been a regular promoter of the successful Spring Calf Promotions at Bandon, Skibbereen and Fermoy marts in recent years.
A founder member of the West Cork Hereford Club, Pat has served both as its secretary and chairman during the ’90s.
His son Patrick has also served as secretary of the club and was part of the club’s organising committee when they hosted an excellent Hereford cattle show at Clonakilty for the visit of the European Hereford Conference tour in 2005.
The ‘Bearnagaoithe Herd’ was founded in 1991 on female lines from ‘Coolbueclan’, ‘Skehanore’, ‘Carrigroe’, and ‘Drisheen’. Numbers were reduced significantly following the death of his wife, Mary. In 2003, rebuilding began with the purchase of a heifer from the Lislaughtin herd of the late Harold Fitzell.
Pat says it has been a great honour to have been elected president of the society to represent his fellow members, particularly at a time when the Hereford breed is in such demand. He says that, in his own region in West Cork, demand was never as strong and is, he believes, driven initially by easy calving and thereafter by the demand and premium available on Hereford stock from the calf stage right through to slaughter.
The local mart at Bandon is one of the biggest calf sales in the country and Hereford calves are always great sellers there.
‘Coming into office as Certified Irish Hereford beef is launched on the American market is a very proud moment and a great achievement for the breed. Congratulations are due to everyone involved in the project,’ stated Pat.
He is looking forward to meeting with breeders at the shows and Hereford events during the coming year and will endeavour in any way he can to improve the fortunes of the breed and breeder alike.