Many of you will know the Creed family from Co Cork from their involvement in commercial cattle and pedigree Blonde breeding and showing circles.

The Creeds take to the show circuit every year and Michael [Creed] will often be seen with an army of helpers in the form of his loving children and grandchildren.

Michael farms just outside Inchigeela in Co Cork alongside his wife, Kathleen, his son, Mick, and his daughter-in-law, Siobhán.

Michael and Kathleen have seven children and, interestingly, six of their children are farming in their own right with three in dairying, one in sheep and one in drystock.

Michael and Kathleen were married in 1980 and rented a farm just a few miles from Michael’s homeplace in Ballingeary. Michael was working off farm as a plasterer and with seven children to look after, things were busy.


Both Michael and Kathleen came from farming backgrounds, Michael from a farm where pigs were the main enterprise which was run alongside a small dairy herd, and Kathleen from a dairy and sheep farm.

They built their home on Michael’s home farm and, in 1988, they sold their home and moved just a few miles beyond the village where they bought the current farm, which is 1,100ft above sea level.

From a friendly chat with the Creeds, I discovered that their entry into suckler farming may have happened by accident. However, as the saying goes, “what’s for you won’t pass you”.

Where it all began

On their rented ground, the Creeds decided to rear a number of Angus heifer calves.

Mick and Michael Creed and their retired Teagasc adviser Timmy O’Mahony (centre) who started advising the Creeds in 1988 and has been a great support since. \ Donal O’Leary

One fine day, a neighbour’s bull broke the boundary fence and did the deed. Michael decided to take the calves to their local mart in Macroom and after much deliberation he decided to take home his young heifers and so, just like that, the suckler herd began.

Fast forward to 1992 and the switch was made from purchasing Angus calves to Simmental calves on the farm as these females would be kept for breeding purposes.

The Simmental calves were run with a Simmental bull and in the summer of 1992, Michael attended a farm walk in Macroom where he laid his eyes on Blonde d’Aquitaines for the very first time.

You might say it was love at first sight when you read what happened next.

After a brief chat with the host farmer, Michael went to visit Blonde breeder Matt Murphy and purchased his first Blonde bull to run with his Simmental cows.

The Creeds were satisfied with their purchase and, in 1994, the first crop of weanlings from the Blonde bull were ready for sale. Examples of weights and prices of these weanlings can be seen in the records photo.

Michael kept handwritten records of his weanlings sold in Castleisland Mart in September 1995. Records from right to left show the animal’s name, weight, price and Michael’s personal opinion on the quality of the animals.

The family started reclaiming the 75 acres of purchased land in 1992 and this continued through to 1998.

In 1993, Michael built a dung stead, an 18-cubicle shed and a sheep and calf house at the same time. In the subsequent years, Michael added on to the farm buildings with the introduction of a slatted shed in 1996. They continued to add to the farm from 2003 to 2008 and there is currently housing for 80 cows and followers and 100 ewes, which are also kept on farm.

During our talk, Michael also gave a special mention to his now retired Teagasc adviser and friend Timmy O’Mahony who helped them to get to where they are today. His expertise helped them to succeed and Timmy remained part of the fold until his retirement a number of years ago.

The Creeds also keep 100 Schwarzkopf ewes that run with a Suffolk and a Charollais ram.

They are a March lambing flock and some of these lambs are finished off farm and some are sold as stores.

The Creed family also kill their own stock for meat with the local butcher in Bantry, Donoghue’s Butchers.


Cattle numbers increased slowly on the farm from 1993 onwards and Michael added, jokingly, “we increased numbers slowly and we never slowed down since!”

Over the years, the cow type on the farm changed to a first cross Belgian Blue (Blue heifers bred from the dairy herd), but the Creeds decided that Blondes suited their system better and, so, veered away from the initial change to Blues.

Michael decided to keep Blonde heifers from the first-cross Belgian Blue cows for breeding and said “they gave us a really good-quality calf”.

Kathleen, Micheál, Siobhán, Michael, Maria and Mick Creed lined out with some of their show team on the farm. \ Donal O’Leary

In 1998, the first pedigree Blonde females came into the herd when Michael purchased four middle-aged empty cows from a pedigree clearance sale in Coachford, Co Cork. The herd currently consists of 20 pedigree breeding females which are farmed under the Derryleigh prefix.

Bitten by the show bug

Mick kicked off his showing career at just five years old, showing Friesians with his uncle Finbar who was farming in Michael’s homeplace.

For seven years, Mick graced the show ring with Friesian calves and so the show bug had bitten. In 1995, Mick took to Dunmanway Show with his first commercial calf. With a background in dairy showing, he didn’t realise some of the key differences in showing beef and dairy stock.

Michael and Kathleen Creed with Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Tullamore Show secretary Chelsey Cox, their granddaughter Maria Cronin, FBD sponsor Kathleen Leonard, and Freeda Kinnerny from Tullamore Show and the Irish Shows Association as they are presented with the gold medal at the Tullamore Show in 2023.

“In 1995, I showed my first commercial calf in Dunmanway show.

“He was a Limousin-cross bull calf dripping with muscle. I clipped him up and thought I had done a serious job and as I was going around the ring, the judge Mike Hannon couldn’t keep his eyes off him. I thought it was because of all the muscle but after placing him second Mike asked ‘did you clip that calf?’ I smiled and said I did as I looked at my bald calf after shaving all his hair off like I had always done with the Friesians. Mike just looked me in the eye and said ‘don’t ever do that again!”’Mick laughed.

In 1999, the Creeds took to the national stage with their first pedigree Blonde calf as they headed for Tullamore Show.

For 20 long years, they continued to travel to Tullamore in the hopes that one day they would secure the top accolade.

In 2019, just before Covid-19 was to strike, the Creed family took to the show circuit with their Blonde heifer Newtown Linka.


Much to their delight, the 20-year drought had ended and Linka took home the supreme Blonde championship.

After the Covid-19 break that broke all cattle-showing enthusiasts’ hearts, the Creeds returned to Tullamore Show in 2022 and 2023 where they claimed their hat-trick.

After a 20-year wait, they managed to scoop the top title three years running – what an achievement.

Michael and Kathleen have 19 grandchildren and you only have to take a glance to see just how much love is shared between them all. Maria was the first of the next generation to start showing back in 2014 and, since then, the team has continued to grow.


During our chat, Michael said: “The shows are a great way to bring the whole family together and for me that’s what it’s all about.

“We have 19 grandchildren and, so far, 10 of them are involved and the rest will be as soon as they are old enough. They all come here to our house on a Saturday before a show washing and walking the cattle, and it’s a hive of activity. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of, bringing the family together to make those happy memories,” he smiled.