The milking machine at the Guinness dairy farm inside Dublin’s M50 was switched off for good on Friday morning at 7.10am, after over 100 years of dairying on the farm in Castleknock.
Farm manager Peter Taaffe has been working there since 1991 and he told RTÉ’s News At One show on Friday that very few people in the surrounding area actually knew about the farm.
“The reason [they would know the farm was there] would have been the Glanbia truck coming in to collect milk. It was hidden among the trees,” he said.
The smell of slurry and silage trailers at this time of the year was another reason as to how people would know there was a farm there, he said.
The farm, called Knockmaroon Farm, was the last dairy farm inside of the M50.
“The dairy industry has changed completely. We were milking 90 cows, we were maxed out with what we can do and we only had a small liquid quota.
“For us to really improve, we’d have to get bigger.
"We can’t do that and it’s not viable the way everything is coming in around us.
"Dairying is hard to do here, with traffic and general farm work,” Taaffe said.
The Holstein Friesian herd was sold in Carnaross Mart on 4 May and the Guinness’ were thrilled with the way it went, he said.
“The last of the cattle went this morning to a man in Meath and he’s delighted with them.
"They were loaded up at 8am this morning and the machine was switched off at 7.10am. There’s no more milking machines in Castleknock.”
Dry stock will be kept on the farm from now on, as Knockmaroon Farm winds things down to a “smaller system” from dairying.
“We enjoy farming, it’s in their DNA (the Guinness’) and they love farming.
"They were upset and disappointed to see the dairy go, but they had to decide whether to invest or go now,” he said.
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