I farm: “65 suckler cows on 65 acres as well as some rented land. I run a herd of Limousin out of British Friesians. I sell the calves mostly as weanlings in Castlerea and Roscommon marts. If one is a bit of a straggler, I’ll keep them for longer to feed them.”
System: “I wasn’t overly happy with how the herd was looking so I started fresh in 2007 or 2008 bucket feeding calves getting them up to where they needed to be. I do all right but I’ll never win farmer of the year.”
Family: “I’m married to Maria and I have three kids; Aisling (14), Patrick (12) and Nadine (8). Patrick is showing a great interest in the place. He’s always looking to help out.”
Contracting: “I do a bit of mowing, baling, slurry and turf cutting. It can be hard to get paid at times but farmers are the salt of the earth. As soon as they have money, they’ll pay you.”
Politics: “I’m an independent candidate. I’m my own man. I want to go in there and be different to how it has been done. I’ll be pushing things like rain water harvesting which would save rural dwellers and farmers hundreds of euro.”
Concerns: “You don’t need a degree from Trinity College to know that there’s a problem with the beef sector. Something needs to be done there in terms of farmers getting good prices consistently. Not the place where we have one good year, one bad. You can’t plan around that. Also, I’m worried about the investments in dairying. It’s the buzzword now but a lot of money has been spent, I hope it all works out okay. You have fellas buying robots without having ever having seen a cow.”
Quotable quote: “This isn’t about parish pump politics, I’m here to fight for all farmers in Ireland and for everyone who has been forgotten in rural Ireland. No matter where I go, I’ll always be farming and contracting, it keeps your feet on the ground."