It’s hard to believe that the National Hall of Fame awards are in their 18th year. They are the brainchild of Athlone pedigree cattle breeders Michael and Oliver Flanagan and have gone from strength to strength. The awards are sponsored by FBD Insurance, Certified Irish Angus Producer Group, ABP group, Kepak, Aurivo and Bord Bia.

They acknowledge the huge work and commitment that pedigree breeders go to, often behind the scenes, to promote and develop their respective breeds.

The National Hall of Fame awards are one of the only mechanism there is to recognise the work that these breeders have put in during their lifetime of breeding. The rewards highlight breeders in the bovine, ovine and equine sectors.

Speaking at the awards night, Minister of State for Agriculture with responsibility for Land use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett said: “Farming is facing a huge amount of challenges at the moment.

Breeders are at the front line in meeting those challenges and it’s important that we recognise the important work that they do. For many people not involved in farms, pedigree breeders are their first point of contact at agricultural shows during the summer, so it’s really important that we celebrate what they do.”

Bovine awards

  • Irish Angus Cattle Society: Norman and Joy Little, Cavetown, Boyle, Co Roscommon.
  • Irish Aubrac Cattle Society: Derry and Sean O’Driscoll, Thornhill, Skibereen, Co Cork.
  • Irish Belgian Blue Cattle Society: Jarlath Duggan, Ross, Rathdowney, Co Laois.
  • Irish Charolais Cattle Society: Joe Gilfillan (RIP), Kilmore, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim.
  • Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Society Ltd: Daniel O’Donovan, Glounamuckla, Dunmanway, Co Cork.
  • Irish Hereford Breed Society: John Ludgate, Rathnee, Ballyclough, Mallow, Co Cork.
  • Irish Holstein Friesian Association: Carlisle Smith, Meadow Bank, Liskilla, Waterfall, Co Cork.
  • Limousin Cattle Society: Paul Sykes, Argole, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo.
  • Salers Cattle Society of Ireland: Thomas Mulcahy, Barossa Strand, Newcastle West, Co Limerick.
  • Irish Shorthorn Cattle Society: James Whelan, Ballylaffin, Dunlavin, Co Wicklow.
  • Irish Simmental Cattle Society: Alice Mullins, Cavancreevy, Castleshane, Co Monaghan.
  • Equine awards

  • Irish Draught Horse Breeders Society: Patrick McCarthy, Meelin Stud, Bandon, Co Cork.
  • Irish Draught Horse Society: Pat McHugh, Gleann Soey, Co Sligo.
  • Irish Donkey Society: Michael G Tutty, Cedarwood Stud, Ballyteague, Kilmeague, Naas, Co Kildare.
  • Ovine awards

  • Belgian Beltex Sheep: James Killilea, Newline, Maree, Clarinbridge, Co Galway.
  • Irish Charollais Sheep Society: Eddie O’Gorman, Lisfuncheon, Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary.
  • The Irish Suffolk Sheep Society: Michael Brennan, Galbally, Ballyhogue, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.
  • Suffolk Sheep Society South of Ireland branch: Arthur O’Keeffe, Annakisha Flock, Mallow, Co Cork.
  • Irish Vendéen Sheep Society: John Lynch, Ballinascraw, Ballinalee, Co Longford.
  • Irish Texel Sheep Society: Sean McGee, Lattagloghan, Co Cavan
  • National Hall of Fame Farmers Oscar Award: Adrian Keegan, Athleague, Co Roscommon.
  • National Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award: Freda Kinnarney, Kilurin, Tullamore, Co Offaly.