IHBS welcome Eamonn Gaffney as Society Auctioneer!

“You can’t become an auctioneer you have to be born one” – Eamonn shares a quote from a long-time friend and it seems no truer words have been spoken.

The Irish Hereford Breed Society are delighted to officially welcome Eamonn Gaffney as Society Auctioneer. Hailing from Corlismore, Co. Cavan – Eamonn grew up on a dairy farm with his mother, father and two sisters. He took over the family farm at the age of 18 years old which then consisted of 12 dairy cows and three suckler cows. Eamonn developed the farm and grew the herd over 100 dairy cows today. This growth was enabled through leasing and purchasing land and inheriting an out farm from his uncle. Something he has done since he could walk – Eamonn’s first love is milking cows and subsequently where he does his thinking.

The lovely Aishling moved into Corlismore in 2017 and the couple were married. They now have three beautiful children; Ellie who is four years old and by all accounts the boss of the house, Ned who is 22 months old and rearing to get going on the farm & Peggy Sue is 8 months old and finding her feet.

Eamonn studied at Ballyhaise Agricultural College when he finished school, where he obtained the Green Certificate. Eamonn’s enthusiasm for farming and studying paid off when he received the Student of the Year award for Grassland Management in year one and Student of the Year for the three-year course which was presented by Mary Robinson in the RDS, the then President of Ireland. In his early years; Eamonn played Senior football for Cornafean for 20 years & went onto taking the seat of chairman for the club for five and a half years. Eamonn also competed in the Scor dancing competition from the age of seven years old.

The Cavan natives off-farm career began in 2001 when he began working for Progressive genetics as an AI technician – a job Eamonn always wanted from a young age. After completing the initial training, he worked as an AI technician for one and a half years. He also worked alongside Johnny Flynn training up farmers in DIY AI which was taking off at that time. The job progressed then into servicing AI flasks for Progressive Genetics in Louth, Meath, North Dublin, Monaghan, Leitrim, Longford and Cavan where Eamonn was living his dream while meeting farmers from across the country.

This career path led Eamonn to one of his career highlights to date which was hosting and auctioneering the Skiddoo Pedigree Charolais dispersal sale in September 2019. Eamonn serviced the flasks for the Skiddoo herd for years and when approached by farm manager Donal Callery to host the sale – he was elated. With help in the office from his wife Aishling and Carmel O’Reilly from along with a great team of drovers managing the yard – the sale was a huge success. The highlight of the day came when lot 25, Skidoo 96 Highlight 2 ET traded at €9,800. Overall, all 34 in calf cows calving in autumn sold to average over €3,700. The team sold 123 lots of cattle in record time of just four and half hours.

Eamonn has a real passion for auctioneering. It all began with a charity auction for the local Cornafean ladies GAA club when he was asked to auction a signed Crossmaglen Jersey. The next move was to auction at the annual race night fundraiser for Cornafean GAA club. The real break came from Ms. Helen Kells, the mart manager in GVM Carrigallen in 2011. Helen gave Eamonn great encouragement and offered him his first livestock sale in Carrigallen where the novice sold 34 lots of strong calves. His first sale & it went off without a hitch – he was on cloud nine. The next sale did not go quite as well but Eamonn didn’t give up and neither did Helen. Through the ups and downs, Eamonn persevered and the livestock auctioneering really took off in 2012 and 2013 where Eamonn started to sell weanling bulls and heifers. His current weekly sales include; Monday & Saturday in Carrigallen, Cavan mart on Friday and Cootehill mart on Friday evening. Eamonn also conducts the commercial Simmental Cross sale in Ballymote mart and has done so for the past six years. He has also auctioneered in Granard mart, the popular Herbie’s Heifer sale in Carrigallen and the Carrick Winter Fair where he sold the highest priced animal last November at €14,500 – 330kg BBX heifer – another great highlight of his career.

Auctioneering opened the door for Eamonn to move into the line of TB valuations on farms also – a process which must be tendered for and employed by the Department of Agriculture.

In 2014, Eamonn progressed onto property auctioneering when he was approached by a local farmer who offered his own lands for sale. Gaffney Auctioneers took on the sale and it turned out to be a great success which led to the following sale of the parochial house in Cornea. Eamonn went on to host the sale of 86-acre farm in Granard, Co. Longford. The sale was held on the farm which was quite a rustic approach at the time but a must given the covid-19 lockdown and proved to be a great success.

When asked about his proudest accomplishment – Eamonn is proud of what he has achieved in recent years, in particular rearing his family.

Eamonn is motivated by the enjoyment of the work that he does and doing it well as he quotes – “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. Eamon has a passion for doing his best for both the farmers and the people who he works for.

Eamonn really enjoyed his baptism of fire last year when he stepped into the boots of Society Auctioneer in Spring 2022. The sales went well for both him and the breeders which gave everyone a great boost. The Autumn sale in Kilmallock in particular was a flyer and a very enjoyable sale. Eamonn is looking forward to the challenge of the job and being part of the development of the breed. Eamonn commented that Herefords are really at the top of the scale in terms of demand and it’s great to see. The Herefords lost their place down through the years when the continentals became the end all and be all but they are finally back to where they belong. The growing dairy market has helped their position and will mostly likely continue to do so. In terms of sustainability and climate change action – Herefords are a no brainer! Following six weeks of Friesian AI in the dairy herd – the auctioneer finishes the mating season with a Hereford bull and he is delighted with the calves produced stating they were good growthy calves which sold well for while giving the purchaser a quality calf to make a few euro from too.

We look forward to working with Eamonn once again during the upcoming Spring sales;

Premier Spring Hereford Show & Sale Tullamore – 25th March
Nenagh Hereford Show & Sale – 6th April
Bandon Hereford Show & Sale – 12th April
Kilmallock Hereford Show & Sale – 14th April
Nenagh Hereford Show & Sale – 18th May

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