Michael and Patrick Quealy & family, Grenan herd attract large crowds for the Irish Pure Friesian Open Day

Report by Donal Carey

Top quality Grenan Pure Friesian herd is complimented by integrated dairy beef enterprise

The Grenan Pure Friesian herd of Michael & Patrick Quealy, Kilmacthomas Co Waterford welcomed large crowds to their farm on Thursday July 21st last for the Irish Pure Friesian open day 2022. On a pleasantly warm and calm summer’s day the unique merits and attributes of Pure Friesian breeding took centre stage. Seventeen years since the open day took place on a Co. Waterford farm the annual promotional showpiece for the Friesian club returned to the Deise County for a second occasion.

Brothers Michael and Patrick Quealy are tremendous exponents of the Friesian breed. Their modern and progressive family farm proved a very fitting host venue for the event. The milking herd includes 170 pedigree registered Friesian cows with all female calves born on the farm annually reared as replacement stock with surplus numbers offered for sale. All male calves are retained on the farm and reared for breeding or finishing in a fully integrated dairy beef enterprise.

Located close to the N25 Waterford to Dungarvan main road near Carroll’s Cross the farm is situated with central access. Visitors from as far away as Donegal, the Midlands and the mid-West were among the attendance. Dignitaries present included Richard Hamilton, IHFA President-elect, Michael Dempsey, Irish Pure Friesian Club Honorary President, Francis Fitzgerald Irish Pure Friesian Club Secretary, Laurence Feeney, IHFA C.E.O.

A special presentation on behalf of the Pure Friesian club and IHFA was made to Carmel Quealy, mother of Michael and Patrick. Mementos in appreciation were presented to Sinead and Josephine Quealy in appreciation for their tremendous organisational work as hosts.

Key open day local sponsors were Denn Feeds and Boumatic Gascoigne Melotte. FBD and Volac were also in strong support. There was a vibrant trade stand display on the day numbering twenty-four commercial companies showcasing specific products and service offerings.


Grenan Herd Overview

  • 2021 milk recorded performance 6,787 kgs milk, 4.70 % Fat, 3.60 % Protein, 536 kgs milk solids per cow.
  • The mature cohort of cows recorded 7,279 kgs milk, 4.67 % Fat, 3.61 % Protein, 603 kgs milk solids per cow.
  • Herd average calving interval in 2021 was 367 days
  • 105 VG/EX Cows on IHFA Classification (conformation)
  • 43 cows of 6th lactation plus. All are classified VG/EX on conformation including Grenan Cait 1615 EX91 in her twelfth lactation.
  • 14 heifers scored GP83 or higher on Classification
  • Fertility & Longevity – There are seven 9th lactation cows and older in the herd including Grenan SLN Ann 1766 VG88, Grenan SVD Andrea 1814 VG85 and Grenan Berry 1928 VG85 who are in their tenth lactation and are going strong.
Open Day Stockjudging

Three classes of milkers were on display in the open day stockjudging classes. Master Judge was Charles Gallagher, retired C.E. of IHFA. In his reasons as to his placings in the three classes; Heifers in milk, Junior Cows and Senior Cows, Charles praised the high quality of stock from the Grenan herd on display. He remarked on the positive dairy character with tremendous udders and conformation overall. In his comments afterwards Patrick gave an overview of the cow families and their efficient performances including tremendous longevity.

Stock Judging Results

Under 18 sponsored by Boumatic Gascoigne Melotte

3rd              Ellen Drohan      

2nd         Eoin McGuckian

1st             Sinead Cusack                      

Winners of the Under 18s Stock Judging Competition – Ellen Dohan (3rd place), Eoin McGuichan (2nd place) (not present in photograph), and Sinead Cusack (1st place) with Richard Hamilton, Gurteen College (left), Donal Kingston, Boumatic (sponsor, right) and Laurence Feeney, IHFA CE (right). Photo by Maria Kelly

Over 18 sponsored by Denn Feeds

3rd             Chris Walsh

2nd            Clive Osborne

1st        Damien Storan

Winners of the Over 18s Stock Judging Competition – Chris Walsh (3rd place), Clive Osborne (2nd place), and Damien Storan (1st place) with Richard Hamilton, Gurteen College (left), JJ O’Neill, Denn Feeds (sponsor, right) and Laurence Feeney, IHFA CE (right). Photo by Maria Kelly
Friesian Club Presentation to Charles Gallagher upon his retirement

Francis Fitzgerald, Irish Pure Friesian Club secretary paid tribute to Charles Gallagher upon his retirement as IHFA C.E. On behalf of all Friesian breeders Francis said that the club were thankful to Charles for his leadership as Chief Executive in helping to promote and progress Pure Friesian breeding. Francis instanced the adoption of Genomics some years ago as one example where Charles astutely advised Friesian breeders to adopt this new technology, fusing together cutting-edge DNA technology with innate stockmanship skills to further inform breeding decisions and to help progress the breed.

Charles Gallagher, Master Judge for the Day
Results announced of Irish Pure Friesian Club Herds Competition

Results of the Irish Pure Friesian Club Herd competition were announced on the day. Judge this year was Hefyn Wilson, Treggiby herd, Wales. A balanced formula weighted for production, conformation and inspection is applied in computing the herds competition rankings. The results are as follows;

3rd         Oliver Dempsey, Barrowvale herd, Ballybrittas, Co. Laois

2nd            Peadar Healy, Firoda herd, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny

1st         Míchéal Spillane, Mountain herd, Fethard, Co. Tipperary

Winners of the Friesian Section of the IHFA National Herds Competition – Oliver & Michael Dempsey, Barrowvale Herd, Co.Laois (3rd place), Peadar Healy, Firoda Herd, Co.Kilkenny (2nd place) and Micheal Spillane, Mountain Herd, Co,Tipperary (1st place) with Richard Hamilton, Gurteen College (left) John Allen, John Kiersey, Francis Fitzgerald, Pure Friesian Club Secretary, Charles Gallagher, IHFA, Patrick Quealy, John Long and Laurence Feeney, IHFA CE (right). Photo by Maria Kelly

Genetic Merit award for highest EBI Classified Pure Friesian Cow

Raheenarran BCG Dairine 2 VG85          EBI €372

Breeder; Bryan Daniels, Raheenarran herd, Kilmoganny, Co. Kilkenny.  

Michael Colivet, FBD Waterford branch, presented the award to John & Charlotte Daniels, Bryan’s parents who accepted the award on his behalf.

Francis Fitzgerald, Patrick Quealy, Michael Quealy and Michael Taaffe (Auctioneer)
Grenan herd Open Day sale tops 2,150 gns

Grenan Afie 3882 (Lot 13) sold for 2,150 guineas was the top price of the Grenan open day celebratory sale. An in-calf heifer aged eighteen months on sale day she is sired by the UK AI sire Lakemead Jingle. She is 97 % Pure Friesian breed fraction. She has been genomically tested with genomic breeding values of €159 Fertility Sub Index and constituents to +0.03 Fat %, + 0.04 % Protein. Her VG Dam is projected to 7,383 kgs milk, 597 kgs milk solids in her third lactation. The sale was conducted by Taaffe Auctions.

Patrick & Michael Quealy
Positive 16-month Friesian bull beef trial results presented    

A new on-farm initiative was trialled last year where six Friesian male calves from the herd were reared for finishing under sixteen months of age. Their performance was recorded over this period. Summary results of the performance achieved were presented on the day. The average carcass weight attained was 352.3 kgs and overall, the average daily liveweight gain of the animals was 1.87 kg per day.


Live hoof paring demo

Other activities on the day included a live hoof paring demo by Comeragh Veterinary who are the local veterinary group for the Grenan herd.