I met a relative of mine briskly walking Coachford's Greenway on Sunday morning. She is Kathleen Kelleher from Aghabullogue. Kathleen had just completed the Echo Women's Mini Marathon by using the wonderful amenity in Coachford to cover the ground required. She's 86 but that didn't hold her back. The walk was no bother to her.
With her daughter, Mary, by her side, once the 6k distance was completed, Kathleen headed back to the family farm in Aghabullogue.
That's the thing about those of us who hail from farming backgrounds, we are a resilient bunch. Age is just a number. I was 50 this week which really only makes me a gorsoon of a fellow in farming terms. I'm still only learning the ropes. I learned this week that choice bullocks on offer at Kilmallock Mart on Monday were €100 a head up on last week's prices. That sounds impressive, even to a young man like me.
Close on 800 cattle and calves were sold at Kilmallock mart this week. "Trade for cattle of all ages was flying," according to a mart source.
54 ringside and online buyers purchased bullocks at the sale on Monday. 64 buyers did business with the mart on Wednesday at the dry cow and heifer sale.
Light store bullocks on Monday sold for up to €820 each or €2.70 per kg. Heavier lots hit €1,280 a head or €2.48 per kg.
Up to €505 was paid for a runner calf (a March born Aberdeen Angus bull).
On Wednesday, dry cows sold for up to €1,230 a head or €1.68 per kg. Heifers made up to €1,120 each or €2.25 per kg.
Dairy stock hit €1,120 (paid for a 3 year dairy cow, time up in a week), while in the suckler ring a 4-year-old purebred Limousin and her purebred bull calf sold for €1,900.
Factory bulls sold for up to €1,400 each.
On this coming Saturday, September 26th, an organic sale will take place at Kilmallock mart beginning at 11 am sharp.
5 Hr steers 389kg 820
10 Fr steers 350kg 510
2 Lim steers 498kg 1120
2 BB steers 505kg 1090
3 Lim heifers 348kg 710
1 Fr cow 625kg 900
1 AA cow 400kg 550
I was delighted with the news this week that the real pubs of Ireland were finally allowed open their doors. The pubs of rural Ireland should never have been forced to close in the first place. Dublin city we are not. Crowd control has never been a issue out here, loneliness certainly is.
Rural pubs provide a service to the community far beyond that of offering a thirsty man or lady a cool beverage. They offer a welcome for all and an opportunity to chat that many so desperately need.
The greatest casualty with Covid 19, as far as I'm concerned, has been common sense.
Bandon mart on Monday had 100 calves on offer, I suspect mostly of the runner variety. I purchased a few myself, I'll tell you more about that next week. Friesian bulls here sold up to €250 a head.
Dry cows in Bandon sold from €50 to €360 with their weight. Friesian bullocks made €180 to €500 with their weight. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks made from €300 to €550 with the kilo.
Continental bullocks sold from €350 to €650 over the kilo. Heifers in Bandon made up to €500 with their weight.
No Breed Sex Weight €
8 Fr steers 398kg 600
6 FR steers 486kg 795
7 Hr steers 420kg 840
2 Ch steers 452kg 990
5 AA heifers 381kg 705
1 Fr cow 815kg 1170
1 Ch cow 655kg 1030
Kanturk mart had a super sale of cattle on Tuesday, mart manager Seamus O'Keeffe, always an upbeat class of a fellow, gave us this report.
"We had a great sale on Tuesday with 550 cattle on offer, this number included 80 calves and 100 weanlings.
"Ringside was very busy with online bidders being put to the pin of their collar to secure animals.
"We had a 99% clearance."
Weanling bulls at Kanturk mart made from €2.29/kg to €2.95/kg. Weanling heifers made from €1.85/kg to €2.30/kg.
No Breed Sex Weight €
4 Hr steers 575kg 1030
5 Fr steers 477kg 950
6 AA steers 545kgs 960
1 Lm heifer 620kg 1150
1 Hr heifer 605kg 1070
1 BB cow 730kg 1140
1 Fr cow 755kg 1120
Plenty of bullocks at Ennis mart
"We had a big sale of bullocks here on Friday at Ennis mart with over 600 cattle on offer," Ann Keane of Clare Co-Op marts reported.
"There was a more mixed run of cattle on offer with more of the traditional breeds available.
"Top quality lots held the trade but the lesser quality lots easier by €20 to €30 a head on the week.
"Quite a number of forward cattle on offer and these meet a good trade overall and made to €1,000 over their weight. Some of the over aged stock averaged over €2/kg."
No Breed Sex Weight €
6 Ch steers 472kg 1220
4 Lmx steers 804kg 1770
1 Ch steer 750kg 1750
1 Lm steer 590kg 1420
3 Ch steers 540kg 1340
2 Hr steers 470kg 960
5 Fr steers 465kg 860
And while Kilfenora might be famous for its céilí band, on Monday evening at the town's mart, it was its weanling heifers that were in tune and in the spotlight.
Ann Keane of Clare Co-Op marts once again with the following report from one right jig of a sale in Kilfenora.
"We had a big sale of heifers for our Show and Sale in Kilfenora.
"Good heifers were a great trade as we saw with some fantastic prices achieved. It must be said that the quality on offer was very good and equally as good as the bulls last week.
"The average price of heifers was dearer than the same day last year by €55 a head."