THE Irish Moiled Cattle Society Open Day, AGM and Irish Moilie Beef Scheme launch proved a resounding success, held in the beautiful Glens of Antrim, at the home of the prize-winning Ravelglen herd of Irish Moiled cattle owned by the O’Kane family.
Brian established the herd in 2003 and the O’Kane family is very proud of how far the herd has come. The latest bull that was selected by the Society to go into AI was Ravelglen Rocky who was on display for visitors to see, along with the rest of the herd.
Over the day there were upwards of 100 visitors, who all demonstrated great enthusiasm, with lots of interaction and feedback during the different workshops held throughout the day on herd improvement and beef finishing. The morning session concluded after author Craig Walsh entertained the crowd, giving a short abstract from one of his books.
Visitors were treated to a superb lunch put on by Annemarie and family with everyone getting the opportunity to try their host’s delicious Irish Moiled roast beef and stew. Following lunch, everyone had their opportunity to do some stock judging with head judge Mark Logan and assistants Rachel Armour and Ciara White giving their reasons on placing the heifers in order of their choice from first to sixth.
Before the official launch of the Irish Moilie Beef scheme there was time to take a short walk around the Ravelglen herd. There was much admiration of the uniformity of the cows with calves at foot. Everyone was able to get up close and personal with the herd due to their quietness and docility.
The Irish Moiled Cattle Society has released a new Irish Moilie Beef scheme pack available for butchers, restaurants and sellers of Irish Moilie beef. This pack includes information on the breed, how it is reared, why the meat is full of flavour and a certificate with the very important Irish Moilie Beef stamp of authenticity giving the customer confidence that they are buying beef from purebred Irish Moiled cattle which are authentic and reared naturally.
Consumers are guaranteed that the cattle are reared mainly on grass fed systems, the meat is full of flavour, tasty, tender and is a healthier product compared to that of cattle finished on high grain diets. Several local businesses interested in selling Irish Moilie beef who attended the open day had no hesitation in signing up to be part of the scheme.
Chairperson Robert Boyle then conducted the AGM and welcomed everyone, especially new members and visitors, giving the annual report on the activities and accounts throughout 2018. Robert thanked everyone for their support during his three years as Chairperson, especially breed secretary Gillian Steele and vice-chairperson Brian O’Kane who made his job a lot easier. Brian O’Kane now takes over as Chairperson, his Vice-Chairperson is Seamus Holmes.
Guest speaker Seamus Heverin from O’Heverin Irish Moil Foods based in County Mayo, gave an insight into what has made his business successful. Seamus finishes his animals on farm to get the correct carcase quality and then dry aged for at least 28 days. He uses only purebred Irish Moiled cattle. The meat has a distinct flavour with that extra marbling and taste giving his customers a premium quality beef with great taste.
The final part of the day was a short journey to a local family-run gastropub, the Glensway Tavern. Head chef Dermot McGoohan put on a five star, five course, Irish Moiled taster menu using all local ingredients.
Between each course Brendan McKay gave a little insight into why the chef chose the particular recipe to suit the cut of meat and beer sommelier Des McCann paired local craft beer which added to the depth and flavours of the meal.
The atmosphere and craic made it a truly special night.