A crowd of over 400 people gathered at Iveragh Co-op Mart in Caherciveen to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its opening.
Mike Kissane has managed the mart since it opened and he gave a brief run-down of the mart's history: “It’s mainly due to some young farmers on Valentina Island who planted the seed. A group came together in the early 1980s and in 1983 they canvassed local farmers and business people selling shares at £100. They raised £50,000 in a week.
Mike Kissane, manager of Iveragh Co-op Mart, Caherciveen, with staff Helen Kissane, Emily Ahern, Noreen O'Mahony and Bernie O'Sullivan.
Three years later they purchased a 12-acre sight outside of Caherciveen for £28,000. A lot of work was done by Maurice Colbert, ICOS mart secretary at the time, and John O'Donoghue TD."
This enabled them to access funding from the Department of Agriculture and the European agricultural fund. A second share drive took place in 1988 and there are now around 400 shareholders.
At the 30th anniversary of Iveragh Co-operative Mart in Caherciveen were Michael Riordan, Breda Moore, Mel Moore, Mary Adair, mart chair Nially O'Shea, Padraig Brennan, David Brennan.
When questioned abut the highs and lows of the mart, Mike said: “Having to close because of foot and mouth back in 2001 was the lowest point, while reopening was definitely a high. Dealing with BSE was tough too, I’ll remember that for a while.”
He addded: “Location is our biggest disadvantage. It’s at least an hour drive to access a decent road network. That adds cost to haulage. But we always have buyers from the midlands coming down. They see that we are surrounded by mountains and sea, but they’re gobsmacked when they see the quality of the cattle.”
Owner of the champion male weanling at the Iveragh Co-operative Mart's 30th anniversary show and sale was Michael Townes from Valentia island. He is seen here receiving his prize from mart chair Nially O'Shea and sponsor Tomas Lester from Southern Milling.
Nially O'Shea, mart chair, said of the mart's 30 years in business “is a mighty achievement. The greatest improvement we’ve seen here over the years is the quality of the stock and it’s all down to breeding. We brought out a scheme here in 2001 to give loans to farmers to buy pedigree stock bulls and that was a great success. That has been extended to breeding heifers and ewes in recent years”.
John O'Shea, Foilmore, with his champion weanling heifer, receives his prize from mart chair Nially O'Shea and sponsor Tomas Lester from Southern Milling. John's daughter, Celine, is the Kerry Rose in this year's Rose of Tralee.
He also commented on the age profile within the industry: “The rising age profile of farmers is a challenge here, but that’s the same for every mart.”
Colm Mangan, Dromid, owner of the best pen of ewe lambs receiving his prize from mart chair Nially O'Shea at the 30th anniversary show and sale at Iveragh Co-operative Mart, Caherciveen.
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