A calf sale organised by Kildare West Wicklow IFA at Kilcullen Livestock Mart on Wednesday has raised almost €29,000 so far for the Irish Red Cross Ukraine appeal.

Donations have continued to come in at the mart in Kilcullen and this is hoped to continue for the coming days.

Farmers across Kildare, Wicklow and Laois donated some 62 calves for 25 buyers joining online and in person, with a Limousin heifer calf catching the top price on the day at €610. Three calves were sold before the sale, bringing the number up to 65 in total.

Leinster Marts supported the initiative, providing its facilities at Kilcullen, where the event marked the mart’s first calf sale in over 20 years.

Kildare West Wicklow IFA chair Thomas O’Connor and treasurer Eugene Lawler were the key organisers of the sale, with support from multiple volunteers across the two counties.

Level of support

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal on Thursday, O’Connor said he was delighted with the level of support the sale received.

“The ring was wedged, with at least 400 people. Many sellers brought their partners and children with it being the Easter holidays. It was a massive achievement for one of the smaller IFA executives.”

The farmer said it was mostly locals who bought one or two calves each to support the cause.

Connolly’s Red Mills also donated 20 bags of calf meal, sold in two lots of 10 at €300 and €290, and a number of calf jackets.

'Huge success'

O’Connor said: “The sale was a huge success. I would like to thank all the farmers who had donated calves and made donations, and also Leinster Marts who hosted and ran the sale, along with Connolly’s Red Mills in Baltinglass who donated calf meal and jackets.

“The support has been overwhelming and the donations exceeded all expectations. Anyone who still wishes to donate can do so by calling Leinster Marts Kilcullen.”

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and local farmer Martin Heydon was also in attendance and commended the organisers for their efforts in raising funds for the Ukrainian people.

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