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Why Buddy Kiernan was no run-of-the-mill businessman

Starting with a small pub, from which he bartered groceries for piglets, Bronx-born Buddy had an eye for innovation and expansion, and built one of the biggest pig businesses in Europe and a booming feed mill. His widow and two of his 12 children explain what made him stand out

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Friends in high places: Buddy Kiernan (centre) with Taoiseach John Bruton, and his son Mark. Photos: courtesy of Kiernan Family/Lorraine Teevan

Friends in high places: Buddy Kiernan (centre) with Taoiseach John Bruton, and his son Mark. Photos: courtesy of Kiernan Family/Lorraine Teevan

Buddy with the Fine Gael trustees, of which he was chairperson

Buddy with the Fine Gael trustees, of which he was chairperson

Teedie Kiernan holds a photo of her late husband Buddy

Teedie Kiernan holds a photo of her late husband Buddy

Noeleen, Teedie & Mark Kiernan at the plant

Noeleen, Teedie & Mark Kiernan at the plant

Teedie at the Buddy Kiernan Millling plant outside Granard, Co Longford

Teedie at the Buddy Kiernan Millling plant outside Granard, Co Longford

Buddy with Taoiseach Albert Reynolds

Buddy with Taoiseach Albert Reynolds

Buddy as a young man

Buddy as a young man

Mark has taken over as chairman

Mark has taken over as chairman

The 12 Kiernan children

The 12 Kiernan children

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Friends in high places: Buddy Kiernan (centre) with Taoiseach John Bruton, and his son Mark. Photos: courtesy of Kiernan Family/Lorraine Teevan

At the age of 14, in 1945, Patrick ‘Buddy’ Kiernan first observed the bartering of pigs for groceries in his family pub — an exchange that sparked the beginnings of one of the largest pig businesses in Europe.

Bronx-born Buddy had arrived in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, along with his parents and siblings, on The Argentina, the first cargo ship back to Ireland after World War II.


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