Farm Walk- the McGrath Family.

AUBRAC Farm Walk

Sunday 06/12/15





The Farm is owned by the McGrath Family. They welcome everyone here for the annual Aubrac AGM to view his selection of pedigree and commercial Aubrac cattle.



Farm Background:

The farm is situated in Stratford-on-Slaney in west Wicklow, where the McGrath family have been running a successful family farm for the last number of years. It is owned and ran by Laurence and Bernie McGrath and there 4 sons Danny, Larry, Sean and PJ.

The farm consists of dairy, beef and tillage enterprises. The farm is currently milking a 170 Holstein type cows and 30 suckler cows. All calves born on the farm are retained and fattened on the farm. The dairy calves are fattened with the beef calves from the suckler herd and with weanlings which are purchased every autumn.  The majority of feed used on the farm is home produced with wheat, barley, oats, maize, wholecrop and beet grown and balancers being the only bought in feed.

In 2012, Pj started his own small herd of pedigree Aubracs. The foundation cow of the herd was a French import,Belote. Currently Pj has 15 pedigree females.

Reason for choosing Aubracs

Over the years we used a range of different breeds of bullson our dairy herd. We are now put our faith in the Aubrac breed andrun 4 pedigree Aubrac bulls on our dairy and suckler cows. The reason we chose the Aubrac breed were:

  • Ease of calving
  • Docility
  • Calf vigour
  • Constantly grading R’s and U’s
  • High feed conversion
  • Short gestation (283 days)

Beef Enterprise

All cattle bred on the farm are retained and slaughtered with Kildare Chilling and Liffey Meats. Until 2013 the farm consisted entirely of a bull beef system producing under 16 and 24 month bull beef, however over past two years 50% of the male calves have been castrated as weanlings.

With recent factory specs changing, we produce 24 month old bull beef and under 30 month bullocks and heifers.

All bulls are slaughtered between 18 and 24 months.

All steers and heifers are slaughtered between 21 and 24 months.

All fattening animals when initially housed receive silage and whole crop to allow them to adjust and are slowly introduced to the TMR.

The fattening cattle receive aTMR which consists of:

3kg’s of 1st cut silage

14kg’s of beet

3kg’s of barley

2kg’s of balancer

8Kg’s of wholecrop

0.5Kg’s of straw



Kill Outs

Tag Number Age Grade Cold Weight Kgs Value
391021573022 U 16 Month Bull U+ 3+ 383.60 1,605.77
391021523083 U 16 Month Bull R+3= 402.50 1,651.15
391021563013 U 16 Month Bull U+3+ 388.30 1,615.32

The above are AU X LM bulls.


Tag Number Age Grade Cold Weight Kgs Price per kg Value
391201522779       U 24 Month Bull U- 2+ 458.40 380.00 1,730.75
391021592967 U  24 Month Bull R- 2+ 392 400.00 1,568.00
391021543011 U 24 Month Bull R= 3= 392.70 410.00 1,598.90
391021552716 U 24 Month Bull U- 2- 418.70 390.00 1,621.76

The above are AU X FR bulls.


Tag Number Age Grade Cold Weight Kgs Price per kg Value
391021573088 20 Month Heifers U= 4= 289.30 440.00 1,272.92
391021563005 20 Month Heifers R= 4= 321.60 417.00 1,341.07
391021563038 20 Month Heifers R= 4- 310.30 417.00 1,293.95
391021583015 20 Month Heifers R- 3= 298.30 417.00 1,243.91

The above are AU X FR heifers.


List of Stock bulls used on the farm

Bull Number D.O.B. Sire Dam Replacement Terminal
IE391032080914 22/03/11 RAMON ACAJOU DREYLANDS ADHIRA 5 stars 5 stars
IE181894220639 02/03/13 DUROC GARRYSALLAGH ENYO 5 stars 5 stars
IE391021513000 28/02/13 RAMON ACAJOU TRASSE 4 stars 4 stars

List of Pedigree Females

Number D.O.B. Sire Dam Replacement (across breeds)
IE 111275040047 01/02/12 ALTAMONT EVEREST DREYLANDS UGOCHI 5 stars
IE371111840264 26/01/12 ALTAMONT EVEREST ADAMSTOWN EANNA 5 stars
IE221001410542 03/03/12 NOLORGUES ARBON WESTFIELD SUKI 5 stars
IE141305680738 05/12/12 VULCANIA THORNHILL VERSONIC 5 stars
IE391021542962 24/01/13 ROUSSEL BELOTE 5 stars
FR1206039446 07/03/06 TRAFALGAR MARGOT 5 stars
IE391103430153 08/10/14 ALTAMONT AVERYON ADAMSTOWN HEIDI 5 stars
IE151117790487 20/02/14 ROUSSEL THORNHILL CAOIMHE 5 stars
IE151117780494 02/03/14 ANDALOU THORNHILL CARLA 5 stars
IE391021513280 07/04/14 ROUSSEL BELOTE 5 stars
IE391021553383 02/01/15 ROUSSEL ALTAMONT HONEY 5 stars
IE391021573385 06/01/15 ROUSSEL THORNHILL HALLOW 5 stars
IE391021583386 06/01/15 ARMENIEN WHITESTOWN INDIGO 5 stars
IE391021523414 12/02/15 ARMENIEN WESTFIELD HANNA 5 stars
IE391021533472 28/03/15 EROS BELOTE 5 stars





Congrats to Kelly Stephenson whose heifer Glencara Isla won the Champion Aubrac at the Tullamore Show.

Details of heifer ;                   GLENCARA ISLA    IE201255550343

DATE OF BIRTH;                               11-DEC-13

Dam Details :                    IE141305620468     THORNHILL CLODAGH

Sire Details     :                   IE151117730374       MOUNTCAIN FEIRA



Beef Farmer Case Study, Alfie & Marion Hanbidge, Stratford on Slaney, Co Wicklow.

70 suckler cows (20 purebred Aubrac and 50 crossbred ) 3 bulls ( 2 Aubrac and 1 Simmental)

All replacement heifers bred from within the herd.

The first Aubrac we bought was a bull to run with heifers for ease of calving from the Balilinclea herd.

On our visit to see the bull we got to view the herd of cows. First impression was they were the type of cow we were trying to breed through crossing different breeds. The following year we returned to purchase another bull and 8 cows, that was the start of our pedigree herd. The main benefits to me are:

  • Calving ease, whatever breed I cross them with.
  • Lively calves with good weight gain.
  • high feed efficiency with excellent grades.
  • Steers average kill out 400kilos at 24 months.
  • Heifers make ideal replacements.
  • Bulls easily handled and very active.
  • Cows docile, plenty of milk and good mothers.

The Aubracs are in my opinion the complete beef breed and all my replacement Aubrac cross heifers are 4 and 5 star.


Ploughing Draw Heifer


Attached photo of Ploughing Draw Heifer, Altamont Jazz being presented to the winner, Andrew Donnellan, Dunmore, Co. Galway, by breeder Leo Dooley, Bunclody, Co. Carlow.

Presentation took place at the Tullamore Show and Sale.

2015 Aubrac Council Committee

Name Phone Numbers Email Address
CHAIRMAN + Year book

+ Finance Committee

James Donnellan 0868379057
VICE-CHAIRMAN+ ICBF + AI Francis Donohue 087.2518332
SECRETARY Olive Butler 086/1647442
TREASURER Martin Bermingham 087 1235333
Finance Committee

PLOUGHING +Year book

Bernard Casey

Ernest Mackey



PLOUGHING COMMITTEE Anne Barron 087/2730243


Pat Bolton

Alfie Handridge


Field officer+ A I +year book subcommittee + ICBF

New Purchase Contact

Francis Butler 086/1647442
Website Sub committee

Website Sub committee


Catherina Cunnane

Michael Heslin

PJ Pollard

John Pollard

086 3325496




Leo Dooley

Bridger Barron


A.I  SUB COMMITTEE John Walsh 0876786466
P. R. O + YEAR BOOk Denis Lenihan


087 2987901




ICBF + AI Sub committee+ Year Book

Micheal Hanlon 

Mirelle McCall

087 2709318   


PLOUGHING COMMITTEE John Barron                    0863898161    

Aubrac Breeders to Feature on Ear to The Ground



Next week’s Ear to The Ground episode will entail a  visit the farm of  Micheal and Mirellie McCall, Calverstown Aubrac, Co. Kildare, to receive an insight into Low Carbon Footprint.

Calverstown Aubracs was established 19 years ago with a herd consisting of 70 in-calf cows.

For further information about the herd see

Tune into Ear to the Ground on Tuesday 1st December- 8:30 pm on RTE 1. 

Slaneymill Jack 687- G€N€ Ireland Maternal Breeding Programme

As part of the G€N€ Ireland Beef Breeding Maternal Programme 2015/2016, Slaneymill Jack 687 is now available.


Name: Slaneymill Jack 687.

Breeder: Alfred E Hanbidge, Beechdale, Stratford- On-Slaney, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow.

Sire: Roussel

Date of Birth: 19 March 2014

AI Code: AU2155

Cost : €5 per straw.

Eurostar Report:  See here.

The bulls involved in the Gene Ireland Programme are not recommended for heifers.


Straws can be ordered through ICBF. Call 1850 600 900.


Irish Aubrac Breeder Features on RTE News.

Michaél O’ Flatharta, Irish Aubrac Breeder recently featured on RTE on Tuesday 27th of October 2015, as part of a feature on the ARANLife Project.

inis oirr

Michaél farms on Inis Oírr, which is the smallest of the three Aran Islands lying in Galway Bay. It isan island famous for its stone walls and biodiversity of plant life and wild flowers and is the home to Michaél’s pedigree Aubrac herd for more than ten years now. Inis Oírr is an outcrop of the Burren, with the cattle staying out doors all year round, being fed on hay and winterages.

island update


You can see the interview here:

Read more about farming life on Inis Oírr in our new Yearbook page 73!

Report from Irish Aubrac Annual Show & Sale.

The Irish Aubrac Society Annual Show and Sale was held in Tullamore Mart on Saturday 24th of October.

Judging took place at 11:30am by Mr. Martin McCullough.

The Pedigree sale took place at 1am, followed by the Commercial Pedigree sale.

Top price of the day went to Ardara Irene, who fetched €3000. She also claimed Supreme Champion title of the show and was the winner of the springing heifer class. She was bred by Daniel Brennan, Donegal and owned by William Walsh, Ballintra, Co Donegal. Born in May 2013, she is sired by Despagnou(DPZ- Bova AI Aubrac Bull) and was sold in-calf to Johnstown Harry calving in January 2016.  She comes from a bloodline of showlines.


Champion of the Show & Sale 2015.

The Reserve Champion of the show and sale Shrubbywood James, was owned by Alan and James Geelan from Carrick On Shannon, Co. Leitrim and bred by Shane and Joanne Bowers, Shrubbywood, Coole, Co. Westmeath.  He has an excellent pedigree background, sired by Johnstown Glen 944, who has Armenien and Turin Bloodlines. His dam, Shrubbywood Felicity is sired Perlou (PRZ), available from Progressive Genetics.



Ballintra Isobel. Maiden heifer, Sire: Caporal, Dam: Ballintra Damaee. Sold for €1710.



De Buitlier Jade. Weanling heifer Sire: Ballinclea Howard, Dam: Johnstown Holly. Sold for €1450.


Turloughmore Julius an August 2014 born bull, sired by Turloughmore Harry and bred by Kevin O’Brien, Athenry Co Galway, sold for €2,600,


Ardara Johnny, Owned by Daniel Joseph Brennan. Sired by Despagnou, Dam Ballintra Edma. Sold after the sale.


Irish Aubrac Annual Show and Sale 2015

The Irish Aubrac Society will host their Annual Show and Sale in Tullamore Mart on Saturday 24th of October 2015 in Tullamore Mart.

Pedigree Aubrac  and Aubrac Crossbred Commercials will be included in our sale.

This will be the first year that Aubrac Crossbreds will be on offer for sale. Sale will take place directly after Pedigrees.

Judging will commence at 12pm sharp, followed by sale at 1pm sharp.

Cattle will be penned and available to view prior to judging.

Digital and hardback copies available of both catalogues- Pedigree and Commercial .

Pedigree Aubrac catalogue can be viewed here.

Crossbred Aubrac catalogue can be viewed here.

For hardback copies, please contact our Herdbook Secretary, by phoning 051 –  641 106 or email 

Irish Aubrac Pre-selected Sale- Catalogue Enquiries.

If you require a catalogue for our Show & sale please contact our Society Office to request your copy, with your postal address for a hard copy or email address for a digital version.
Show and sale to take place on Saturday 24th of October 2015 in Tullamore Mart. Includes both Pedigree & Commercial Aubrac Cattle.

Irish Aubrac Society Winner of Draw Announced.

Congratulations to Andrew Donnellan, Dunmore, Co. Galway on winning the Pedigree registered Aubrac  heifer ‘ Altamont Jazz’ as part of our National Ploughing Championship draw. We wish him every success with her. Altamont Jazz is a five star heifer from the herd of Leo Dooley and Bridget Barron.  Thank you to all those who entered our draw and to all those who devoted their time selling tickets at farm walks, Agricultural shows, in their local communities and the Ploughing Championships.

A special word of thanks to Henry Burns ( IFA Livestock Chairman) who visited our tent on Thursday at the Ploughing Champoinships to draw our winner.


Altamont Jazz in the spotlight at the Ploughing Championships.