Everything ‘Moilie’ was celebrated at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum on Saturday, July 4. Visitors to picturesque Ballycultra Town where treated to a whole day of demonstrations and fun activities.
The day began with a show of Irish Moiled Cattle, judged by Irish Moiled Breeders from all corners of the British Isles.
Derek Steen, Lockerbie, Scotland, Seamus Holmes, Donegal and Victor Campbell, Ballinderry put their heads together to place the excellent display of cattle before them. Congratulations to Brian O’Kane on obtaining Breed Champion with his cow Carnearney Rose and to the reserve champion, Curraghnakeely Silvia 1st a heifer from Nigel Edwards, Tempo.
The crowd where continued to be entertained by a ‘Traditional Dress’ Class judged by the Mayor and Mayoress of Ards and North Down Council. From flat caps and waistcoats to milk maids the overall winners where Robert Boyle and his grandson Cole Hogg, who were perfectly turned out as ‘Master’ and his Apprentice. Mayor, Alderman Alan Graham commented: “The display today is a great sight and a credit to everyone involved, as a farmer myself I understand the importance of celebrating our farming history, including this wonderful breed.”
There was something for everyone throughout the day including, cattle preparation demonstrations by Eamon McGarry, history presentation by Greg Walsh, Irish historian and a classification demonstration by Holstein UK. Also Caoimhe Nic An tSaoir from Scullery Made cooked up a storm in the Old Rectory House with a slow cooked Irish Moiled Beef Brisket and Irish Moiled Beef was also for sale from Tully Farm.
However the stars of the whole day were the young handlers, a key part of the event may have been celebrating the important history of the Irish Moiled but the efforts of the young people show the breed has a bright future.
Firstly the young handlers where put their paces by judge Alison Connolly in showmanship classes and the kids certainly showed the adults how it should be done.
Well done to John Smiley, Ballynahinch on gaining ‘Best Young Handler’ with Robert McConnell, Glenwherry in reserve.
The next stage of the masterclass was a ‘Strictly’ style game show competition where the kids scored the adult handlers on their efforts, with Maggie McQuiston keeping the crowds entertained with her excellent commentary. Everyone watching got a fun and very entertaining as well as informative insight into correct ring craft through watching the good and bad behaviour of the contestants.
Visitors to the event went away with an understanding of the breeds past and future, with some very positive comments from the ring-side on how much the quality of the breed has improved. Numbers of this rare breed are still classed as ‘At risk’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust so it is as important as ever to promote the breed through its historical importance and its function today as an easy kept suckler cow and its premium beef.
The Irish Moiled Cattle Society wish to thank everyone who helped make the day such a success. To find out more about the breed please visit www.irishmoiledcattlesociety.com.