The breed that came back from the brink
Dubliner Eavaun Carmody is spearheading the revival of the once endangered Dexter breed of cattle
WHEN Eavaun Carmody, first arrived in Killenure Castle between Cashel and Dumdrum in Co Tipperary nearly ten years ago, she'd no idea that she was about to embark on a career in farming.
She and her husband, Emmet Sexton, purchased the 450 year-old castle after falling in love with its charms and the prospect of the good life in the country for them and their three children.
It was only after a chance conversation in the local pub that Eavaun learned that Dexter cattle had actually originated in her parish, and immediately the entrepreneurial artist in her knew that they would be a good fit with the ancient surrounds of Killenure.
"I'm big into the whole idea of breathing life back into the heritage and culture that surrounds us - in this case the edible culture of one of only three indigenous cattle breeds to Ireland," she said.
Fast forward a few short years, and Eavaun is the proud owner of 185 head of pedigree Dexter, making her the unlikely owner of the largest herd of Dexter cattle in the country.
In addition, she has contracted farmers locally and nationally to also start multiplying numbers so that collectively they account for over 80pc of the entire breed on these shores.
"We only have about 16ac here at Killenure so we've just signed a five-year lease on 93ac down beside the village. The whole idea is to be able to produce enough to keep up with demand from La Rousse," said Carmody.
At the moment Killenure Dexter are supplying three animals a week, but demand is already there for five animals, and La Rousse are projecting demand to grow to 10 a week within the next couple of years.