Ryanair's Michael O'Leary has hosted a cattle sale with a difference

Luke Morgan from Dingle came to see Tiger Roll at the recent Gigginstown bull sale.

The Gigginstown House bull sale last Saturday scaled new heights, with a purchaser from West Cork, John Applebe, describing the sale as “another step up”.

Buyers descended on the Co Westmeath estate from well beyond the Irish borders.

Most noticeable, on Fennor Farm, was a Belgian buyer who, it is believed, picked up Gigginstown Bellini, sold for €3,300.

John Applebe from Clonakilty, Co Cork, and grooms Karen Morgan and Louise McGee with Tiger Roll, pictured at the Gigginstown bull sale, where John was one of the purchasers.

I spoke with Gigginstown estate manager Joe O’Mahony after the sale. As always, Joe was happy to give a fellow West Cork man the full low-down on a sale in which all 23 pedigree bulls and 19 heifers found new homes.

“We had a full clearance, with a top price of €4,300 paid for Gigginstown Lord Incaid, the buyer in this case coming from County Down.

Top seller at the Gigginstown House Angus bull sale; €4,300 was paid for Gigginstown Lord Incaid, born December 18, 2017.

“Our top heifer, Gigginstown Kid Gloves, sold for €3,550, and went to a Nenagh, County Tipperary buyer.

“Also Gigginstown Red Gaffer, a Red Angus bull, which are always popular, fetched the second highest price at the sale, selling for €3,800 to a prominent member of the Irish Aberdeen Angus Society, Mac Crowe, who is from Mohill, Co Leitrim.”

Gigginstown Tiger Roll (a heifer this time, not a racehorse), sold to Country Crest businessman Gabriel Hoey from County Dublin.

There were plenty of buyers from down south Joe told me (praising the advertising power of the paper that your humble reporter works for).

Staying on the subject of superstars, Tiger Roll (the horse this time), the all conquering English Grand National dual winner, was also on show, posing for photos with those eager to meet the champion. And there were many. Michael O’Leary’s other famous horses, War of Attrition, Don Cossack and Rule of World, weren’t too far away either.

“Buyers on Saturday came from the North of Ireland, Dublin, Midlands, West Cork, Galway and also abroad.

Joe O’Mahony, estate manager in Gigginstown, and Max Zinchenko, his assistant manager, discuss some stock at the sale with visiting buyer Garrett Grogan, from Co Meath.

“We had Aberdeen Angus breeders from mid-Australia, who were very impressed with the stock on the day.

“The sun shone, not only making it a great day for a sale, but a great day for one and all attending it.”

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 BB steers 505kg 1220

5 Hr steers 507kg 1060

5 Lim steers 489kg 1040

6 Fr steers 542kg 960

2 BB heifers 490kg 1025

2 Lim heifers 425kg 940

1 Fr cow 475kg 840

And from one successful sale to the next. In Kilmallock on Monday the mart had 2,500 stock on offer, with Denis Kirby of GVM reporting a huge demand for stock.

“We had a mighty sale with 300 buyers doing business,” said Denis.

Bullocks here sold for up to €2.64/kg, while dry cows in Kilmallock hit €1,310 a head or €1.77/kg. Heifers made up to €2.66/kg.

Weanling bulls made up to €2.81/kg.

Dairy stock made up to €1,700 a head, with €490 paid for a three-week-old Belgian Blue in the calf ring.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 595kg 1080

3 Lm steers 535kg 1060

4 Hr steers 602kg 1050

2 Ch steers 495kg 1025

3 AA heifers 615kg 1075

2 Sim heifers 450kg 915

1 Fr cow 675kg 960

Kanturk mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe, commenting on the sale of cattle on Tuesday, reported that the trade and the grass are going the same way, up and up like a Ryanair jet.

“We had a very big sale on Tuesday, with 1,295 cattle on offer. This number included 520 calves.

“There was a great demand for all stock, with store bullocks in great demand for grass that has now taken off.”

Upcoming sales in Kanturk include, on Saturday April 27, a complete clearance sale of 25 dairy cows and a reduction sale of 25 cows, mostly pure-bred registered, on the same day.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 385kg 1075

4 Lm steers 340kg 970

6 Ch steers 450kg 1040

2 AA steers 357kg 740

5 Hr steers 350kg 720

1 Ch cow 810kg 1260

1 Fr cow 790kg 1240

And word from sellers at Skibbereen mart on Friday was also of prices on the up, mart manager, Tom McCarthy, reported “another big sale with over 800 cattle on offer this week.”

Dry cows in Skibb sold from €50 to €500 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €400 to €700 with the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle sold from €300 to €850 with their weight.

Castleisland

Wednesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 Lm steers 580kg 1135

3 Lm steers 370kg 895

2 Ch steers 550kg 1115

4 Lm heifers 410kg 1030

5 Ch heifers 400kg 885

3 Lm heifers 320kg 885

2 Ch heifers 415kg 1005

Next we move across to Castleisland mart and to mart auctioneer, Noel Corcoran.

“We had two big yards of cattle over the past week,” said Noel. “And with excellent grass growth, spurred on by summer like conditions, there is a very positive feel to the trade, with plenty of buyers in attendance.”

“Quality stock is meeting with a brisk and excellent trade, with full clearances being recorded.

“Some plainer lots would now be easier sold than earlier in the spring time.

“Top quality heifers continue to be very much in demand. Our Easter Monday sale saw close on 1,100 calves selling through our rings, with some very strong, aged calves on offer which met with an excellent clearance rate and an abundance of buyers in attendance.”

These four Charolais crosses, born from April to June 2018, weighed 292kg and sold for €830 at a recent Macroom Mart.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 BB steers 345kg 1395

3 Lm steers 585kg 1330

2 AA steers 585kg 1180

4 Hr steers 370kg 880

2 Lm heifers 500kg 1065

1 Hr cow 700kg 1045

1 Fr cow 745kg 1010

Dry cows in Bandon sold from between €50 to €345 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €150 to €575 with the kilo.

Continental bullocks made up to €750 with the kilo. Hereford and Angus bullocks sold from €230 to €660 with the kilo. While heifers in Bandon on Monday sold from €200 to €565 with their weight.

Good trade for all types at busy Dungarvan mart

After the sale of cattle in Dungarvan mart, manager Ger Flynn reported “a very good trade for all types of stores, prices up on last week.”

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

8 Hr steers 544kg 1130

2 Ch steers 632kg 1350

5 Fr steers 513kg 1000

2 Lm steers 382kg 955

3 Lm heifers 450kg 1010

1 Ch cow 835kg 1200

1 Fr cow 780kg 830

Big sale in Ennis

And finally for this week, we go to the sale of weanlings, sucklers and dairy stock at Ennis Mart on Tuesday.

Ann Keane of Clare Co-Op marts gave us all the details.

“We had a big sale again today with over 1,000 head of stock on offer,” said Ann. “The trade all round was similar to last week, with no great change.

“Not quite as many buyers around on Tuesday, but the trade held firm with farmers and shippers in the bull ring, and the heifer ring dominated by feeders and farmers.

“Calf numbers eased a little at the mart on Tuesday, with a firm trade and a good deal of shipping activity for these,” added Ann.

“Suckler pairs made up to €1,900.

“A mixed run of dairy stock were on offer and these made up to €1,330.”

More on this topic

Damaging pest will spread across China’s grain production within 12 months

Australia turns to imports to help offset crop losses

Man dies after being injured by animal on Longford farm

Kilkenny unveils new digital innovation hub

More in this Section

Damaging pest will spread across China’s grain production within 12 months

Australia turns to imports to help offset crop losses

Kilkenny unveils new digital innovation hub

Education holds the key to tackling food waste issue


Lifestyle

Gardening: Something for everyone at Chelsea Flower Show

Relishing the Riviera: St Tropez still the jet set destination it has always been

Restaurant review: Ristorante Rinuccini - Kilkenny

The Wine List: Will 2019 see the rise of rosé in Ireland?

More From The Irish Examiner