Video: From Roscrea to Rwanda - 1,000th Irish cow airlifted to new home
Massive airlift to take the young cows to their new home
Irish herd in Rwanda now in the thousands as Irish charity returns yearly to puts cows back in calf
The generosity of the farming community and wider Irish public towards Rwandans widowed by the horrific genocide of the mid 1990s hit a milestone this week as Bóthar dispatched its 1,000th cow to the African nation.
Just three months after Bóthar sent the largest ever airlift of animals in the world to the small nation in south-central Africa, the agency today launched its 2017 airlift programme as 25 in-calf Friesian heifers began a 7,000km journey to their new home.
The 25 cows were brought to Roscrea Mart in Co. Tipperary from farms around the country and, following the finalisation of paper-work, were shipped to Amsterdam and loaded later at Schipol Airport for their overnight cargo flight.
Many of the donor farmers themselves turned up at Roscrea to see off their animals and were welcomed to Roscrea on behalf of Bóthar by Tipperary’s All-Ireland winning senior hurling manager Michael Ryan.
It was a neat GAA double for Bóthar as three months ago, when it sent out a record airlift of animals to Rwanda for its 25th anniversary trip, Dublin’s two-in-a-row winning football manager Jim Gavin was on hand.
While the airlift included the 1,000th heifer sent by Bóthar to Rwanda, the actual ‘Irish herd’ now out there as a result of the airlifts is estimated to be many multiples of that as Bóthar returns each year with artificial-insemination straws from Ireland to put the cows back in calf.
Speaking at Roscrea Mart, part-time farmer Michael Ryan said that he had huge admiration for the charity and its donors.