Carnew Mart to step back in time with old-fashioned cattle walk

The Carnew Mart in Wicklow whill host a production sale with a twist on Wednesday, May 17.

Eoin Mac RaghnaillWicklow People

The Carnew Mart in Wicklow is gearing up for a production sale with an old-time twist on Wednesday, May 17, with a herd of freshly calved milking cows and heifers set to be walked from a neighbouring farm to the mart on the morning of the sale.

The herd of artificial insemination-bred Holstein Friesians will be led from Joe and Joseph Hughes’ farm, located about 500m from the historic mart, coming up the road to the mart from the Shillelagh side.

Mart staff and the Hughes family will be directing the herd on the day, harking back to an old ritual that hasn’t been seen in the village of Carnew for over 50 years.

Speaking ahead of the highly-anticipated sale, Carnew Mart Yard Manager, Eugene Clune said: “It certainly is a rarity these days. The last time this happened would have been long before my time. It would have happened with sheep about 25 years ago, but cattle haven’t been walked down to the mart for at least 40 or 50 years.

“It’ll be happening in the morning, roughly around 9.30 a.m. or 10 a.m. It’s hard to know what way the timing is going to be, seeing as how something like this hasn’t been done for so long here.

“There will be a production sale of freshly calved milking cows and heifer, and then there will be a selection of young stock, between bull and heifers. It would be a very well-recognised herd.

“Ever since Covid we don’t get the same size of crowds that we used to, but this sale is going to create a lot of interest. If we hit 30 or 40 people at a sale like this we’d be doing very well.

“There will be a good few locals at it of course, but you’d be amazed at how far people travel to come to the mart – coming from all over Leinster. For the people who can’t travel, they’ll miss out on the walking of course, but they can still tune in for the sale online.”