Hall of Fame 2011

The Recip­i­ent of this year’s Hall of Fame Award goes to a Per­son whose has had a life­time invol­ment with the Holstein-Friesian breed. Some­one who has served the Breed well with an unselfish, quiet, unas­sum­ing and intel­li­gent ded­i­ca­tion. That intel­li­gence is founded on a pro­found knowl­edge and widely based expe­ri­ence of Holstein-Friesian Breed­ing. A native of Cor­ran­dulla, Co. Gal­way and a Mem­ber of a Fam­ily who, them­selves, achieved note­wor­thy suc­cess in the Holstein-Friesian Breed with the Kilc­ahill Herd, Br. Ger­ard Cahill has been nom­i­nated by his fel­low Mem­bers in the I.H.F.A. as the recip­i­ent of the 2011 Hall of Fame Award.

Br. Ger­ard has been in the Marist Broth­ers for over 60 years. Imme­di­ately after his Pro­fes­sion, he was one of 3 Broth­ers des­ig­nated to found the Marist Col­lege in Clon­dalkin, Co. Dublin. He spent the next 10 years teach­ing there. When his teach­ing duties fin­ished each day, Br. Ger­ard would help on the Col­lege Farm.
While in Clon­dalkin, he made what has become a life­long friend­ship with Cyril Dowl­ing, whose noted Bal­don­nel herd was then being devel­oped. Sub­se­quently Br. Ger­ard trans­ferred to the Marist Col­lege in Athlone, where he became Prin­ci­pal, a post he retained for 30 years. Dur­ing this time his abil­ity as an Edu­ca­tor and Admin­is­tra­tor came to the fore, as evi­denced by the devel­op­ment of the School into the largest Boys sec­ondary school in the Coun­try. In a fit­ting trib­ute to his lifetime’s work in Athlone, he was hon­oured with the Award of “Athlone Per­son of the Year 2009”.

Dur­ing a very busy life Br. Ger­ard has always made time for his sec­ond great inter­est which is the Holstein-Friesian Breed. The found­ing of the West-Midland H-F Club in 1981 pro­vided Br.Gerard with an oppor­tu­nity to become actively involved with the Breed in a mean­ing­ful way. Over many years his wis­dom and busi­ness acu­men has been of ster­ling ben­e­fit to the Club, of which he was Chair­man from 2000 to 2004. Dur­ing his tenure the Club revi­talised and pros­pered. Br. Ger­ard has the unique abil­ity to make peo­ple feel both involved and val­ued. His lead­er­ship abil­ity reflects the Marist ethos of mutual respect and encour­age­ment. The West-Midland Herds Com­pe­ti­tion Awards pro­vided Br.Gerard with the oppor­tu­nity to visit Herds and pho­to­graph the prizewin­ners. Dur­ing these vis­its, his com­ments were a source of encour­age­ment and enlight­en­ment to those start­ing into Holstein-Friesian breed­ing. Sub­se­quently these films were shown at a Club Meet­ing known as “Br.Gerard’s Night”, an event eagerly antic­i­pated by all, as it allowed all Mem­bers an oppor­tu­nity to have their suc­cess recog­nised. His com­ments as he showed the Slides, revealed his astute eye for cat­tle, and his pro­found knowl­edge of Cow-Families. Br. Ger­ard is always gen­er­ous with his knowl­edge and so many have ben­e­fited so much from his opinions.

Br. Ger­ard has trav­elled exten­sively and has always been a great Ambas­sador for Irish Holstein-Friesians when abroad. Together with his great friend the late Fr. Pat Harte, R.I.P., he was a reg­u­lar attendee at the Royal Show in Stoneleigh and vis­ited many of the lead­ing Herds in the UK. These vis­its resulted in close friend­ships which have enhanced the rep­u­ta­tion of Irish Breed­ers and their cat­tle abroad.
His respect for the Breed and the Breed­ers at all lev­els, whether local, National or Inter­na­tional has, in turn, earned him the respect of all those who work within the breed.

Br.Gerard’s con­tri­bu­tion to Irish Holstein-Friesian Breed­ing is moti­vated by a desire to con­struc­tively help those who are inter­ested in improv­ing their Herds. This has always been done in a quiet and unas­sum­ing way. He has inspired a flame of inter­est in many through a gen­er­ous shar­ing of his pro­found knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence of the Hol­stein Breed.
Whether at Club level or indi­vid­ual level, Br. Gerard’s con­tri­bu­tion to his beloved Holstein-Friesian breed is immense in scale and per­ma­nent in effect.