Young gun Dermot lauded by Macra

A 28-year-old dairy farmer with a fondness for the annual “Pig and Porter” tag rugby competition has been chosen by Macra na Feirme as young farmer of the year.

The competition has a prize fund of €10,000.

Dermot O’Connor, from Shangolden, Co Limerick, is a member of the Limerick branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association, holds a Fetac cert in animal and crop production and farm business and also plays soccer with Creeves Celtic.

He was one of six competition finalists who underwent a tough interview yesterday to ascertain who had the most business initiative, ran the most efficient farm, and displayed the most environmental awareness and agricultural knowledge.

The other finalists were Pat O’Neill from South Tipperary; William Morris from Carbery, Co Cork; James Hoey from Louth; Christopher Tuffy from Sligo; and Graeme Martin from Monaghan,

Dermot was unveiled as the winner at a ceremony in Kinnity Castle in Co Offaly last night.

The judging panel included former president of Macra na Feirme, the IFA and COPA Padraig Walshe; UCD lecturer in dairy production and president of the ASA Karina Pierce; IFAC CEO Willie Fahy; Joe Burke from Bord Bia; former Macra presidents Joe Healy and TJ Maher; and Paul Maher of Teagasc’s advisory services.

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