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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Could Molly be Ireland’s oldest cow?

A 24-year-old Hereford-cross-Angus is believed to be one of Ireland’s oldest cows.

The cow, which has had seventeen calves to date, resides on the farm of Tony Henchy in Derrycarne, Doonbeg in Co Clare.

He told The Clare Echo that the cow is one of the oldest in Ireland, according to registrations.

Tony milked the cow by hand for domestic uses in her earlier years. The cow also serves as a link to the time of his parents, Josephine and Martin.

“She is right up there with the oldest, or so they are telling me at the registration. She was my Dad’s initially. He passed away, and I decided to hold onto her so she could end her days here with me,” Tony told the publication.

Molly was born on the Henchy farm, and her mother hailed from the Killimer area. The farmer credits her longevity with being from west Clare stock.

He told the local publication that her health today is “reasonable enough”.

“She has a couple of setbacks alright, but overall, it is not too bad. At this stage, you just would not know; the appetite is not great with her.”

Ireland's oldest cow, Hereford cattle, farming news
Image credit: The Clare Echo

In 2017, we visited Michael Mullarkey’s Bluebell, who was 32-years-old at the time of the video and was believed to be one of Ireland’s oldest cows.

The Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo farmer explained that the cow was born on his farm in December 1984, and he registered her on January 1st, 1985.

The Hereford-cross first calved down at 221 months and had an average calving interval of 403 days. “She had a calf every year for 26 years,” her owner told That’s Farming.

At the time of the video, the farmer said: “She is getting meal twice daily. A couple of years ago, I went into the vet to see could I get anything for her to improve her hind leg.”

“I told the vet that she was over 30 years of age at that time. He said to me: ‘You know that cow is over 30 years of age, and it is not better she will be getting. If she goes down on you, you will not get anything in the factory.’ I told him the inside of a factory she will never see’.”

“She means a lot to me, and I did not think she would be here half this long. She will be here for the rest of her life anyway.”

Bluebell passed away the following summer at the age of thirty-three.

Do you own a cow that is older than Molly? If so, email – [email protected]

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