Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Tipp dairy farm open day in memory of mum Josie

Shane Hanrahan with children Lauren (5), Shaun (4) and Brian (2) on the family dairy farm in Ballyanney, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
Shane Hanrahan with children Lauren (5), Shaun (4) and Brian (2) on the family dairy farm in Ballyanney, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

In times of difficulty, planning ahead can be a saving grace.

It occupies the mind, allows you to temporarily sideline torment and encourages positivity.

Two years ago, Josie Hanrahan became ill. The mother of three small children, from Nenagh, Co Tipperary was aged just 35 at the time.

She was determined to stack the deck in her family's favour. Josie, and her husband Shane, a carpentry joiner and suckler farmer, sat down and outlined plans for her recovery.

"We made a plan that if she got any bit of good news after the first session of chemotherapy we'd change our lifestyle. I'd give up the carpentry and go dairy farming because it would free up more time and it would be a steady income. That was our vision," said Shane.

Slowly things started coming together for the young couple. After a successful operation and round of chemotherapy, Josie was given the all clear in September 2015.

"We were thrilled. We started building the milking parlour. I had everything in place and ready to go after getting such good news."

"Josie had great plans to feed calves and hens and to enjoy a better quality of life".

"I began digging out the tank, built two sheds and started milking cows the following spring," he said.

But then, just as their innovative dairy, featuring the latest technology, was up and running the cancer returned.

"Josie went for a second operation. There was a lot of people giving me a hand with the kids and everything which was a great help. She started chemo again but it didn't work," he said.

Last September, Hospice moved into the house. "We thought we'd have longer but we didn't and unfortunately Josie died last October."

"It's hard because there is nobody here to share this with. It's all about stability now for the children. We had a plan and I'm going to continue on and see it through."

This Friday, Shane, along with the support of family, friends and many within the farming community, will host a special open day on his modern dairy farm in Ballyanney, Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Expert speakers from Dairymaster, Glanbia, AIB and Teagasc will be there to discuss maximising feed output, spring dairy nutrition, calf rearing and more between 11am and 4pm.

Munster and Ireland rugby legend, John "The Bull" Hayes will also be a special guest.

All funds raised will go to the Irish Hospice Foundation.

"Hospice were very good to us and allowed Josie to pass away at home. They did everything they could. I think she would be very proud of what we have achieved. It's just unfortunate that she's not here to see it," he said.

Silage awards

Three young farmers were awarded top class honours at last night’s prestigious Silage Awards in Co Sligo.

The competition, organised in association with Macra na Feirme and Aurivo Co Op, received more than 200 entries from members in 10 counties nationwide.

However, the top spots were claimed by David Blair of Proper Job Macra club in Donegal, Diarmuid Murray of South Roscommon Macra club and Siobhan Gallagher of South Leitrim Macra.

First prize was a specially commissioned trophy and a grass measuring plate meter.

Entry samples were tested by Aurivo in their testing laboratory and entrants were contacted by Aurivo farm commercial specialists and received nutrition advice based on their results.

Speaking at last night’s presentation at the Sligo Park Hotel, experts offered young farmers practical tips for producing quality silage in 2017. 

Sean Finan, Macra na Feirme President said the purpose of the competition is to encourage best practice.

“We want young farmers to get into the habit and recognise the needs and benefits of good silage for their animals,” he said.

Email: cmccormack@independent.ie

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