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Holstein Friesian breeder dies over a fortnight after herd dispersal sale

A well-known Holstein Friesian breeder has died just over a fortnight after holding his herd dispersal sale.

Jerome O’Leary dispersed his entire Foherish Herd on December 17th, 2020 due to illness. The sale was held on his farm in Clondrohid, Macroom, Co. Cork with 20% of animals acquired by online bidders.

The sale comprised of 130 head including 70 milkers, (approx. 35 autumn calvers & 35 spring) 18 -1st calvers, 9 – 2nd calvers, 14 – 3rd calvers, 11- 4th calvers, 10- 5th calvers), 70 followers, including in-calf heifers, served, maiden, weanlings, and spring 2020 & autumn-calves.

According to his death notice, O’Leary passed away peacefully at his home in Gurrane on Friday, January 1st, 2021, surrounded by his family.


Paying tribute to the deceased on, one described him as a “true gentleman and a proud farmer, who had nothing but the best for his cattle”.

Another said: “He was a real gentleman who enjoyed his profession as a farmer and breeder of Friesian cattle. I enjoyed his company on the many Cork Friesian Club tours. He was always ever-present at the organising of the National Dairy Show”.

“He was a quiet, unassuming man whose greatest interest was in his farm and his pedigree Friesian cattle. He was always a prize-winner at Millstreet National Dairy Show.” another wrote.

“Sincere sympathy to the O’ Leary family on the passing of Jerome, a gentleman and a devoted farmer who loved his cattle.”

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Foherish Herd dispersal

In a post after the sale on December 22nd, Denis Barrett, auctioneer said:

“Congratulation to all the buyers at the Foherish Dispersal Sale. The stock were a credit to Jerome, who has a keen eye for livestock.”

“Top price went to Lot 89 Foherish Uix Aria purchased by John Leahy, Co Kerry you just pipped an online UK bidder. Her dam Lot 27 Foherish Rubicon Aira VG87 sold for €3,500 to the Laurlemore Herd.”

  • Foherish G Cairnbrae sold for €2,200
  • Foherish Mauie 8 (VG87) sold for €2,600
  • Foherish Doorman Rhonda(VG87) sold for €2,300
  • Foherish Doorman Mandy sold for €2,600
  • Foherish Crayon Mavie sold for €2,400
  • Foherish Mau sold for €2,000
  • Foherish Atwood Ambrosia sold for €2,800
  • Foherish Atwood Ambrosia2 sold for €2,100

“There was an 87% clearance on the day with all unsold animals being retained on the farm for the new operator. 4 animals sold to the UK. We had 20% of all animals sold online.”

“I would like to thank Paul Murphy and his team Brendan Greenan and Christy McCarthy for preparing the animals. I would like to thank all Jerome’s neighbours and friends for helping make the sale run smoothly.”

“I would like to thank Micheal & Breda for all their hospitality. I would like to thank Jerome for choosing us to conduct the sale; all be it a bittersweet occasion. On a personal note, I would especially like to thank Martin O’ Donnell (now with Worldwide Sires) for his trojan work in pulling everything together.” the social media post concluded.

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