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Minister Coveney Launches the National Hall of Fame Awards

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine launched the National Hall of Fame Awards in Dublin today. This is the ninth year that this prestigious event will be held on 1st May 2011 to honour cattle, sheep and equine breeders who have been nominated by individual breed societies for their valuable contribution to their particular breed over many years.

Minister Coveney paid tribute to pedigree breeders who are dedicated to producing the highest quality animals for both the domestic and international marketplace. He said "Cattle and sheep breeders play a valuable part in the agrifood sector as they produce the elite animals which will ultimately be used as breeding stock on farms across the country. They help to drive profit in the sector and contribute to increasing the quality and value of exports. 

The Minister added: "It is important that the hard work and dedication of the cattle, sheep and equine breeders chosen by their individual society is recognised."

Minister Coveney acknowledged that the cattle breeding Industry has made great progress following the establishment of the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation, which is helping to identify the most profitable cattle in the country. Sheep Ireland, which was established more recently, is also developing breeding programmes to help improve the quality of sheep on Irish farms and enhance the profitable of the sheep sector, he said.

The Minister said that "pedigree breeders play an important role in ensuring continued genetic progress in the livestock sector. This progress contributes significantly to achieving the targets set out in Food Harvest 2020 and the further development of the Agrifood sector which is a critical element in economic recovery."

The Minister thanked the chairman of the organising team, Michael Flanagan for his continuous hard work in organising the event. He also congratulated all the nominees and everybody involved with the event.

Date Released: 07 April 2011