I farm: “137ac on Crappagh Island, which I own and have farmed organically for the last 10 years. I also farm a further 110ac of owned land on Gorumna and Lettermullen which I intend to convert to organic.”

Family: “I farm with my wife Bernie, daughter Sarah and sons Feidhlim and Malachy help me out whenever they can.”

Island farming: “All of these islands on which I farm are part of an archipelago linked to the mainland by bridges and causeways, so access is not an issue.”

Our herd: “For the last 20 years I reared mainly Limousin/Charolais cross type weanlings for sale as stores to other farmers; however last year I bought in 10 pedigree White Galloway cows from the renowned breeder Chris Hall of Strabane with the intention of bringing the offspring of these cows to organic beef production.”

Hardy cows: “These tougher and smaller cows are performing well and all calved down without any assistance and have produced hardy and attractive calves that do not require dehorning as they are naturally polled.”

Future plans: “After this year’s experience I intend on reducing my continental herd and will try to increase my Galloway herd to 30 sucklers as they appear to be more suitable for grazing the marginal and exposed coastal land that I have.”

Organic farming: “Farming on the edge of the Atlantic can be challenging and small fragmented farms along the west coast will not compete with areas of the country with good quality land. However areas such as Connemara can be suitable for quality suckler and sheep production.”

CAP: “These farmers need to be encouraged and rewarded for maintaining the landscape and wildlife through schemes such as the Organic Farming Scheme. I personally think this appears to be the direction of the new CAP; where there will be a greater emphasis in the future on the environment and climate change. As to what effect this will have on our rural economy and communities - only time will tell.”

Quotable quote: “I often find when buying stock that ‘an ounce of breeding is better than a tonne of feeding’.”