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Friday 22 September 2017

Dairy industry stalwart Hugo Maguire set to retire later this year

Hugo Maguire
Hugo Maguire

Farming Independent Team

Hugo Maguire is to step down as chairman of LacPatrick later this year, he announced this week.

The Clones, Co Monaghan, native will continue as chairman until the co-op’s AGM in the summer but he confirmed that he intends to retire from the board at that stage.

The move brings to an end a 48-year career in the dairy industry, 18 of which were spent at the helm of Town of Monaghan Co-op and later LacPatrick.

“My job is done at this stage,” he told the Farming Independent. “It’s time to let the next generation take up the reins.”

LacPatrick was formed in 2015 when Town of Monaghan Co-op merged with Antrim-based Ballyrashane Creamery.

Maguire was a key driving force behind the merger which created a cross-Border milk pool of close to 700m litres, supplied by 980 farmers.

The last two years have been busy merging the two businesses and building a new governance structure for the co-op, Maguire explained.

This will see the new board reduced from the current 25 to 16 members, with a 60-man council elected from four regional divisions — Cavan-Monaghan, Fermanagh-Tyrone, Armagh-Down and Antrim-Derry.

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“The new 7.5t drier is being commissioned at Artigarvan outside Strabane which will give a capacity of 12.5t/hr at the facility, the governance structures are agreed, so it’s a good time to move on,” Maguire said.

The Monaghan man’s father and grandfather were chairmen of Clones Co-op. At the age of 23, he was invited onto the Town of Monaghan board, and he has been a board member since.

“When I started with Town of Monaghan we had a supply of four million gallons;

I’m leaving LacPatrick with a milk pool of 700m litres. That’s progress, and there’s a nice sense of achievement in that progress,” Maguire said.

Indo Farming