Owner of Tullahay Farm, Rosemary O'Shea, was successful recently when she won €10,000 in Three Ireland's 'Grant for Small Businesses' competition.

She is farming 250 cows with her husband Jim in Co Tipperary, where they hand-make fruity whey drinks and savoury soft cheeses.

Jim and Rosemary have three daughters who are involved on the farm too.


They run a spring-calving British Friesian herd on around 450 acres of land.

"We own about 250ac ourselves and rent another 200ac. We do high-quality AI every year. We are trying to bring up the quality of the cow and breed a bigger cow," she said.

Closed herd

Rosemary and Jim run a completely closed herd and rear their own replacements. They also rear their bull calves until they are about three months old and they then keep the heifers.

"We don't want any diseases brought on to the farm from bought-in stock, so that’s why we try to keep it a closed herd.

"A lot of cheese companies would be buying in other people’s milk, but ours is all our own," she said.


Rosemary sells her products at local Supervalus and Ardkeen Quality Food Store.

"Lately, we are in Sheridan's in Dunnes Stores in Cork and have even got enquiries from Dubai with people looking for samples.

"I hand-make all the products in my production unit and deliver them myself to customers.

"I also help on the farm with drying off cows, calving and feeding calves every now and again."

Since Rosemary began her business, they continue to milk throughout the winter and only dry off a certain amount of cows.


Rosemary’s kids all help out on the farm, especially at busy times of the year.

"I want them all to be able to milk because I think it’s a good skill to have.

"We start calving in January, it's a really busy time of year. The kids and I look after the calves and Jim does the milking."


Rosemary makes her nutritious whey drinks using left-over liquid whey from the soft cheese making and are the only liquid whey drink company in Ireland.

Drinking whey on a daily basis helps with digestion as a probiotic, it is more hydrating than water with its mineral content and contains all the essential amino acids and is full of gut-friendly bacteria.

Rosemary offers two fruit-flavoured whey drinks, mango and passion fruit and raspberry.

Her two flavours of savoury soft cheese are chilli and honey and tomato and basil.