Report – IHFA National Open Day 2015 at Lisnalty

High producing working cows with excellent conformation make a lasting impression at the IHFA 50th anniversary Open Day!


The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) National Open Day was held on the 8th July on the Hannan family farm Lisnalty ,Friarstown, Crecora, Co. Limerick.


Charles Gallagher, CE IHFA with Jimmy Hannan and grandchildren at the Open Day at Lisnalty

This was a triple celebration in that the Association was celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the Lisnalty herd was celebrating 50 years since its establishment and Jimmy and Marie Hannan who founded the herd were celebrating 50 years of married bliss.

The herd is now managed by their son Paul with brother John managing the beef and suckler unit.

When it comes to writing the history of IHFA no doubt the Jubilee anniversary celebratory National Open day will be recalled in the annals of the times.

_MG_4002A large crowd well in excess of 4,000 were in attendance with dairy farmers travelling from every corner of the country, Northern Ireland and the UK.

The atmosphere was electric with a great sense of excitement amongst dairy farmers that they now have freedom to milk and expand their herds with the abolition of milk quotas. The mood was quite uplifting despite the downward pressure on milk prices. The evidence for this was recognised in the sales ring when the cream of the Lisnalty young stock sold for an average of €3,000.

IMG_2582The general crowd were awe struck at the beautiful setting and general neat layout of paddocks, farm roadways and the yard which looked splendid. The day held out dry despite the rain of the previous day


Richard Whelan, Chairperson IHFA; Eamon O Cuiv, TD; Ger Coughlan, CEO Kerry Agri-Business; Peter Ging, President IHFA and Charles Gallagher, CE IHFA


Three generations – Paul Hannan with son Billy and father Jimmy at their family farm Lisnalty for the IHFA National Open Day

Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive and Peter Ging, President of IHFA welcomed everyone to the Open Day.
The official opening was performed by Ger Coughlan, regional manager of Kerry Co-op agri division who were the main sponsors of the day. Ger emphasised the commitment of the Co-Op to dairy expansion in the area and that the Hannan’s were loyal and committed milk producers, farming to a very high standard. Jimmy had put in place a solid foundation for the herd with John and Paul building on that solid foundation.

The event was blessed by Fr. Mike O’Shea.

IMG_2729Other dignitaries included; Richard Jones, CEO Holstein UK, Jimy Hull –Fortland herd & former President of Holstein UK, John Martin-field officer HUKNI.

Also in attendance were TD’S Eamonn O’ Cuiv and Niall Collins.

Everyone received a great welcome and there were no end of refreshments, teas and coffee’s available all day. It was a great family day out where old friends and new could renew acquaintances in a relaxed atmosphere with entertainment provided by the Unity Gospel Choir.

The local ladies from Carnane National school were very busy serving refreshments with many compliments on the friendly & efficient service. The ice cream stall was a popular attraction throughout the day with all proceeds donated to Cystic Fibrosis, a very worthy charity. The volunteers and good causes involved on the day are thankful to IHFA and the Hannans for their support.

Inter Club Stock Judging Finals
The serious business of the day was the Interclub stock judging, YMA stock Judging, Macra stock judging and presentation of the National Herds Competition winners.


Paul and Jimmy Hannan of Lisnalty with Judges Mike Gould, Woodmarsh Herd Shropshire, Des Frawley, Coolstar Herd, Limerick and Rickey Barrett, Lauelelm Herd, Cork and Margaret Murphy. Lissaniskey, Upton, Cork.

I wish to thank Mike Gould-Woodmarsh herd, Shropshire UK, Des Frawley- Coolstar Herd, Co Limerick and Ricky Barrett- Laurelelm herd, Co Cork for officiating as the master judges for the Senior stock judging.


Mervyn Kearney, Palliskenry, Co. Limerick, reason giving judge at the IHFA Open Day

I also wish to thank Margaret Murphy and Mervyn Kearney who officiated at the YMA stock judging. John O Connor, Ballykennedy herd and Dermot Ryan, Sallybank herd who took the reasons for placings of the cows for Macra.

The judges were wholesome in their praise of the teams of cows for the judging. They were hard working farmer cows with dairy strength, width of rump and excellent functionality with Feet& Legs and udders to match. They were the type of cows that any dairy farmer would like to be milking, sound in every feature.IMG_2454

At the end of the National stock judging competition Paul presented the cows from the top families. All present were seriously impressed with the cows.This was reflected in the prices paid for young stock bred from these cow families later in the evening.


Ger Coughlan, CEO of Kerry Agri-Business receiving a presentation from Peter Ging, President of IHFA

I wish to thank the sponsors
Main sponsors on the day were Kerry Co Op who sponsored the Interclub stock judging, Greenvale who sponsored the National Herds Competition, FBD Insurance who sponsored the Gold & Diamond awards and Volac who sponsored YMA. Agri Aware generously supplied prize packs to the U12’s.


Representatives of Roches Feeds, sponsor of the 18-26 Inter-club Stockjudging at the IHFA National Open Day

Associate sponsors included Roches Feeds, AIB Bank, ESB Networks, Delaval, Crecora Mills, Mid West Veterinary, Munster AI.

Richard Whelan, Chairman of IHFA thanked the Hannans for a wonderful day and thanked everyone for attending.

Paul Hannan thanked his parents for all their help ,support and guidance down the years. He thanked IHFA staff and Chief Executive, the volunteers that helped, the Limerick and Clare club, the caterers, Carnane National school, Unity choir and all the sponsors in making it such a special day.

Charles Gallagher, Chief Executive of IHFA thanked the Hosts, Sponsors, Press, local clubs, IHFA staff, YMA, stewards, and everyone who helped to make the day such a success.

The Open Day was well attended by milk producers, pedigree breeders, trade, farm organizations, Macra na Feirme, Teagasc personnel and the Agri –media.

Seventy commercial firms and organisations had trade stands. These included sponsors Kerry Coop, Greenvale, FBD Insurance, AIB, ESB Networks, Delaval, Roches Feeds, Volac, Munster AI and Crecora mills.

Among the trade stands were ABS Ireland, Alltech, Animax, Bank Of Ireland, Dairymaster, Agri Needs, Dovea, Eurogene, HUK, Lely Robotics, World Wide Sires, Norbrook, Packo Fullwood.


Peter Ging, President IHFA, represents FBD, sponsors of the Gold & Diamond Awards with winners John Moroney, Drumcliffe, Billy Connor, Ballyroon and Tommy Screene, Windfield

IHFA competitions included National Herds competition (winter & spring calving -under and over 70 categories), and National Stock judging (under 18 plus 18-26 age group), all attracted huge interest as did the EBI and the Gold and Diamond awards.

I wish to thank Liam Curran, Bayvilla herd , Co Waterford for judging the National Herds Competition. This competition is sponsored by Greenvale animal feeds.


Richard Claxton, Richvale Herd, receives a presentation from IHFA President Peter Ging for the Judges Recognitions Award for Clean & Safe Farm

The Judges Recognition award is a new element introduced to the Competition this year, awarded to Richard & Valerie Claxton, Ballyroan, Co. Laois in recognition for their safe, neat and tidy farmyard.

Lisnalty Celebration Sale
Full Clearance with an average of €3000 At IHFA Open Day!

As part of the IHFA Open Day events on farm, a special sale of 33 deep pedigreed young heifers took place representing the best cow families in the Lisnalty Herd. The first calf was sold by the family with proceeds going to Mid West Cancer.

All in all an excellent trade!

Charles Gallagher

Chief Executive.

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