From left, Raymond Potterton and Stephen Barry of Potterton Auctioneers, and Gerry Fagan and Pat Lalor of the Hooves 4 Hospice project.

Breeding heifers for sale in aid of Hooves 4 Hospice

The farming community has come out in force in supporting the Hooves 4 Hospice campaign to raise €1 million for a regional hospice in the midlands. Up to the end of last month, 192 animals had been sold, making on average €1,151; 93 had been donated and placed with host farmers, 344 had been donated and reared by donor farmers and 114 were bought and placed with host farmers.

Next Monday, December 13, two breeding heifers will be auctioned at Tullamore Mart. They have been donated by Tullamore man, Brendan Hannigan, who is chief executive of LSL, the online auction company that has its office at 10 Auburn Road, Mullingar, and has been to the forefront in this campaign. The animals on offer are a 600kg Belgian Blue X and a Limousin X, 500kg, out of Lodge Hamlet.

Last month, two Hereford heifers made €2,010 at Tullamore Mart. They were donated by Tom Fennelly from Laois.

The largest Hooves 4 Hospice sales so far took place in Ballymahon Mart in October, when 15 animals donated by local farmers sold for €15,000. Eight of the animals were from the a group of farmers in the Moate area organised by Bernard Maxwell, a dairy farmer from Cloncullen; six from Hereford Prime and one was from businessman and hotelier, Christy Maye, a native of nearby Forgney.

Christy Maye and the Greville Arms Hotel also sponsored a bottle of whiskey for each of the buyers. Athlone businessman, Jimmy Magee also made a generous donation on the day.

A Charolais heifer donated by Delvin man, Stephen Barry of Raymond Potterton Auctioneers was sold at Carnaross Mart on November 11 for €4,020. Bidding started at €2,000 and the animal was sold to an anonymous online buyer.

When auctioneer Rodney Windrum’s hammer fell, there was an enthusiastic round of applause and farmers and staff present dug deep to add €700 to the collection in the sales ring, and further donations from clients of Potterton Auctioneers took the total raised to €7,255 for Hooves 4 Hospice.

The midlands is the only region in Ireland that does not have a level 3 hospice. Lions Clubs throughout the region as well as the Irish Hospice Foundation have teamed up with local farmers to raise €1 million to build the planned midland regional hospital.

They now have more than 500 animals being reared by participating farmers for sale and have received cash donations of more than €100,000.

At Ballymahon Mart, from left William Jones, mart manager, Christy Maye, Greville Arms Hotel, Michael Cleary, Hereford Prime, and Pat Lalor, Hooves 4 Hospice chairman, receiving a donation from Athlone businessman, Jimmy Magee.