“My grandfather, the late Peter Daly, who passed away recently, instilled a love of dealing in my father which he passed down to me,” explained 25-year-old Des Daly Jnr, when he sat down for an interview with That’s Farming’s Catherina Cunnane.
The late Peter, who dealt in horses and cattle for over seventy years, laid the foundations for Daly Livestock. Des Snr and his 25-year-old son, Des Jnr, now oversee the running of the business, which is based on the Laois-Tipperary border in Borris-in-Ossory, Co. Laois.
They hope that Peter’s legacy will live on for many more generations to come. “Peter was an amazing man, who had a wonderful way with people, and he was always a huge part of the business over the years.” his grandson said.
Des Snr began dealing forty-three years ago, while his son became involved in the firm in 2015, having obtained his Green Cert from Gurteen Agricultural College. “My father Des started with a car and trailer and we now have two lorries and a trailer.”
“Des Snr also has a sister who deals in horses and a brother who deals in cattle, so it really is in the genes! Some people say we wouldn’t be Dalys if we weren’t dealing!” Des Jnr laughed.
The objective of their business, which is aimed at both full and part-time farmers, is to supply quality calves, weanlings, stores and forward stores at “good value” to a wide customer base.
“We really believe in animal welfare and the importance of taking good care of cattle – We hope customers see this when they visit our yard.”
They purchase the majority of their cattle in the West of Ireland and calves in the south; they sell at a local level in Laois, Tipperary, Offaly, Carlow, Kilkenny, but operate nationwide.
“One of us is usually buying at a mart every day of the week, while the other is at home running the beef and sheep farm. We also purchase stock privately from farms.”
The majority of cattle are sold from their yard, while the remaining animals go under the hammer at local marts. “It works out at about 80% sales at home and 20% through marts.” the third-generation livestock dealer explained.
The Dalys transport livestock all over the country with their two lorries and trailer. Their fleet consists of Scania 360 124G with a 29ft body and 20ft trailer and a Scania 380 114L with a 25ft body. “A good friend of ours, Michael, often drives one of the lorries as well which is a great help to us.” Des Jnr admitted.
The Dalys claim they are currently supplying between 4,000-4,500 cattle and calves annually. “With all the uncertainty around farming at the minute, we hope things will pick up and we can continue to provide this service for many years to come.”
“I couldn’t talk about the business without mentioning those who continue to help us along the way, including my mother who does all our paperwork, as well as my sister and girlfriend who help out with social media.”
The Laois-based family have intentions to expand their herd to 100 suckler cows, bringing all stock to beef, while also continuing to purchase and rear calves, weanlings, stores and forward stores.
“We buy for ourselves first – if we don’t think the cattle would suit us, we wouldn’t expect other people to buy them. We always have and always will live by this philosophy.”
“The livestock we buy are well looked after and cared for. We value all our customers and are very grateful for the support they give us.”
“We have built up great relationships with customers, who come back to us year and year, and there’s always great fun and a laugh to be had with them too.” Des Jnr concluded.
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