Farm Ireland

Sunday 20 January 2019

Veterinary medicine is not for the faint hearted, but for this farmer's daughter it was the right choice

Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

Veterinary medicine one of the highest points courses in the country, but it takes more than straight A's in the Leaving Cert to survive the challenge.

Mary O’Flynn from Dromtariffe in North Cork is at the last step of fulfilling her child-hood dream of becoming a vet. Mary is a final year veterinary medicine student and is on the home-stretch to becoming a qualified vet next September.

"Veterinary is not for the faint hearted but I have found that after my 24 weeks of placement that I have definitely chosen the correct career for me.

“A lot of study is required with many late nights in the library, but overall it has been a very enjoyable five-years” said Mary looking back on her time in UCD.

As a teenager, Mary developed an interest in pedigree cattle and decided to purchase her first Parthenaise cow. “I was quite lucky with her as she produced a few good calves,” she said.

Hailing from a beef and tillage farm, Mary always had a keen interest of animals and has credited helping her father on the farm to being well prepared for the job today.

“I spent a great deal of time helping my Dad on the farm and I gained a lot of experience handling cattle,” she said.

As part of the five-year veterinary course in UCD, each student needs to complete twenty-four weeks of placement with a practicing vet.

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During this time Mary had the opportunity to do perform a C-section, as pictured. The photo was taken in Kilkenny with Mary and her fellow classmate Darragh Newman were carrying out their placement with Sinead Brennan, a large animal vet based in Carrick on Suir in Tipperary.

“In this photo we had just completed a C-section in a suckler beef cow, who had a twisted uterus and was trying to calve. We had to make an incision in her abdomen to untwist her uterus and remove the calf,” said the final year vet student.

Mary is now finishing second semester of final year and is currently preparing for her final exams in May.

“All going well I will be qualified vet once I get through them. There will be a lot of coffee drank and candles lit in the next few months!" 

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