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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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‘I was sitting at my laptop until 4am to bid for 5 AI straws off a bull’

Pat Morrison of Lanmore Speckle Parks is a history-making, progressive cattle enthusiast who has been instrumental in the breed’s development in Ireland over the past decade.

His association with the Canadian breed began in 2009 when he established one of the country’s oldest Speckle Park herds. He farms on a part-time basis with his wife, Marian, and two children, in Westport, County Mayo.

Speaking to That’s Farming, he said: “I wanted a hardy medium-sized breed of cattle for the west of Ireland climate, and heavy ground.”

“Besides, I wanted a breed that was easy to manage due to working off-farm. Speckle Park has met all these criteria and much more for me. They are the best cattle my family, and I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

He has continually expanded the herd over the last number of years, as he strives to “always attempt to improve what we have”.

This year, he hopes to welcome 14 pedigree calves sired by seven different bulls (approximately 80% AI).

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According to Patrick, this is the most diverse range of bulls he has ever used and the most he will have ever calved down in one year.

Irish Speckle Park Cattle Society

Through the Irish Speckle Park Cattle Society, of, which he is its secretary, they have imported some new genetics for the national Speckle Park herd.

According to Morrison, the society has gone from strength to strength in the last number of years as its membership base continues to grow annually. A strong, dedicated committee continue to “push the breed further and gain the recognition it deserves”.

“This is why Speckle Park has seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years. There is a big demand for pedigree animals from people wishing to establish their own herds and from both the dairy and suckler commercial side.”

“People are seeing the merits of Speckle Park and what they have to offer to a wide range of enterprises. Demand from the dairy industry has been particularly strong in recent years with the expansion of the national dairy herd.”

“People love the ease of calving the Speckle Park offer and short gestation (joint second in the last ICBF report issued earlier this year). Also, the demand for coloured calves means there are no issues in selling calves. Buyers are paying a premium for those calves, so it is a win-win for any dairy farmer.”

Global stage

Lanmore Speckle Park has had a whirlwind few months, gaining traction across the waters. Last October, Patrick purchased semen at an online auction in Australia, “which was the first time this had been done by a breeder here in Ireland”.

“I was sitting at my laptop until 4am to bid for 5 AI straws off a bull called Minamurra Leander L81. He is one of the top-scoring bulls in Australia.”

“Unfortunately, it has taken months to get the semen to Ireland and it should be here in the next week or two. I cannot wait to see what he can add to the Lanmore herd.”

In November 2020, Patrick made history by being the first to export a Speckle Park bull from Ireland to mainland Europe to Holland.

“Lanmore Hero was one of my top calves from spring 2020. He was a beautiful classic (black and white) bull with great style and is a TempleMichael Arctic son.”

“Robert Asborek contacted me via email. Unfortunately, he had very little English, and my Dutch was not great, so we relied upon Google Translate to establish communication. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.”

“So, after sending him photos of what I had available, he chose Hero. He currently has cross-bred females from AI straws he had used previously and decided Hero was the bull he wanted to use for the next breeding season.”

“We have kept in contact. I have seen how Hero has developed over the last few months, and they are delighted with his progress.”

Lanmore Hero, Speckle Park, farming news

Lanmore Goliath

In more recent weeks, Morrison has had one of his bulls available for AI use.

“Lanmore Goliath always had something special about him. So, as he grew and developed into such an impressive bull, I decided to collect semen from him as he was such a correct bull and had such great length.”

“He is a myostatin carrier, so he will bring good shape to his progeny. As I said, Speckle Park-cross calves are highly sought after at the moment, with purchasers even booking ahead for Speckle Park calves even before they are born.”

Speckle Park, beef farming, beef farmers
Another successful story for Lanmore Speckle Park last year was when one of its females, Zunnita, was crowned Ms Europe in a virtual world Speckle Park competition.

More information 

You can order Lanmore Goliath semen through Patrick Morrison by phoning: 087 9272049. Alternatively, you can follow his Facebook page here or Instagram here.

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