Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

Tullow celebrates 60 years

Members of the managemant team at Tullow Mart (l-r): Eric Driver, John Murphy, Kyran O Byrne, Eamonn O Byrne. Photo by Roger Jones
Members of the managemant team at Tullow Mart (l-r): Eric Driver, John Murphy, Kyran O Byrne, Eamonn O Byrne. Photo by Roger Jones

The foresight of the three founding 'fathers' in setting up the privately-owned Tullow Livestock Mart will be recalled next month when it celebrates six decades of continuous trading.

The mart opened for business on Friday, February 10, 1956 - a pivotal year in the transition from street fairs to livestock marts.

Patrick Dawson, Eddie O'Bryne and Stan Brophy, now all deceased, were the driving force behind what is now one of the country's longest running privately-owned marts.

Today, Tullow Mart is in the the capable ownership of Patrick Dawson, Eamon and Kyran O'Byrne and John Brophy, sons of the founders.

In the intervening years, there have been three mart managers - Pat O'Farrell, John Murphy and the current manager Eric Driver.

Ten part time, and three full time staff are employed to run the regular sheep sales each Tuesday and cattle sales on Fridays, as well as seasonal weanling sales on Saturdays in the autumn each year.

The mart has built up a strong working relationship with many different breed societies and hosts sales on their behalf annually.

Another development was the establishment of the Tullow Sheep Breeders Association who have held their sales at the venue for over 30 years.

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Cattle trade

Mr Driver said that the cattle trade had ended 2015 on a very positive note with a little concern on the beef price during the later months of the year particularly in relation to the talk in the industry of weight bans which would have a big impact for finishers.

"The New Year has started with the hoggett trade taking up very positively with strong trade for stores over the past two weeks.

"It looks like the trade this year is taking off more slowly than last year which is probably a good thing with Easter early," said Mr Driver.

"We are hoping that the trade will come up trumps for the farmers for Easter, because that is very important for the farmer who put a lot of work into having the early lambs ready for the Easter trade.

"In the beef side we continue to see farmers showing a lot of confidence. The store trade is very strong and farmers are positive despite some scaremongering in the industry about the restrictions on weights, a cut off carcase weight and farmers not being paid for the heavier carcasses which would have a big effect on the continental type cattle in particular.

"Farmers are a very resilient group of people and overall they are showing a lot of confidence in the trade for the year ahead," added Mr Driver.

*The Tullow Mart Diamond Jubilee celebration takes place on Friday February 12 and the mart is inviting all its customers and friends to attend the celebratory sale with refreshments and they'll also stage a charity event.

Indo Farming