Cork man Seán Coleman is as busy off the farm as he is on it.

At home in Clonpriest outside Youghal, he helps his brother Mark and father Ger milk 130 cows on the family farm. They also breed horses and Seán himself has an egg business, for which he keeps 12 hens.

Outside the farm gate, Seán is into swimming (a double Special Olympic medallist!), floorball, hurling and politics, among many other interests, all of which Seán discussed with the Irish Farmers Journal when we sat down to speak with him recently.


Seán was born with Down syndrome. At the age of four, Seán had to go to the children’s hospital in Crumlin for open heart surgery - an Irish Farmers Journal reader from a young age, he brought the paper with him!

Once he was over his surgery, Seán went from strength to strength. He attended Clonpriest National School and Pobail Scoil na Trionoide in Youghal, where he did his Leaving Cert Applied.

Seán went on to study at University College Cork (UCC), where he received a cert in contemporary living.

Always learning, Seán attends classes in the local education and training board (ETB) in cooking and woodwork.

He also works in Supervalu in Youghal every Friday.

Hen house

It was during COVID that Seán started his egg business.

He ordered a hen house online, which ended up being too small, so his brother Mark built him the much larger hen house he uses now.

Seán started selling the eggs from his hens at the front gate using an honesty box system. He has his own branded boxes ‘Seán’s fresh eggs’.

Sean Coleman with some of his hens. \ Donal O'Leary

“I have 12 hens at the moment. I’ll wait now a while to see if I’ll get more,” Seán said.

Earlier this year, there were several farmers in contention for Ireland’s largest egg.

Recently, one of Seán’s hens laid an egg which is up there with the biggest of them, weighing in at 127g.

Seán is very proud of the largest egg laid in the history of his flock, so they baked it into a cake to celebrate.


Seán’s brother Mark is at home farming with their father Ger. They have two more siblings, Edmund and Yvonne.

Seán loves helping out on the farm - he regularly does the milking with his father and brother. His favourite job is milk recording and he never misses it when it comes around.

Seán Coleman in the parlour. \ Donal O' Leary

At the moment, Seán explained, all the cows are dried off since Friday 22 December. The family are taking a break before calving starts around 20 January.

In the spring, Seán helps to feed the calves and goes out every evening with his father to check which cows are near calving.

Seán is also well able to foal a mare during the spring.

“I’ve always been involved with horses, I was reared with them,” Seán said.

Sean Coleman bringing in one of the foals. \ Donal O' Leary

The Colemans breed six national hunt mares. They bred Oscar Time, who came second and fourth in the Aintree Grand National.

They currently have a homebred mare, Time to Rocco, in training with Colin Motherway, who is Seán’s cousin. When Time to Rocco won in Tipperary, Seán led her into the winners’ enclosure.

On other well-known connections, Seán told us his godfather Edmund Coleman bred 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere.

Edmund gifted him a Belgian Blue calf, which he sold recently in Corrin Mart. The 18-month-old calf weighed 530kg and sold for €1,340.

Special Olympics

Seán has as much to keep him busy off the farm as he does on it. He’s into swimming, floorball, GAA and politics.

In 2015, he won two medals at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles.

“I won two silver medals in freestyle and backcrawl,” Seán said.

A picture taken of Seán in the pool in Los Angeles was subsequently used on bus stops all over Ireland.

Politics is also a big interest of Seán’s. James O’Connor, Ireland’s youngest TD, is his first cousin.

“There are too many old politicians. We need more from the younger generation,” he said.

With his varied interests, Seán has plenty of topics to discuss and is always available to help out at home on the farm when he’s needed.

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My Farming Week: Seán Coleman, Clonpriest, Youghal, Co Cork