A charity genetics auction organised by the Angus Stars of the future Facebook group in aid of two ambulance services will start next Friday (January 27).

The auction will be hosted by MartEye in conjunction with Mid Tipperary Co Operative Livestock Mart (Mid Tipp Mart).

117 lots of semen from 45 of some of the breed’s superior new and older artificial insemination (AI) sires will come under the hammer from 1:00p.m on Friday, through to 7:00p.m on Monday, January 30.

The initiative is in aid of the Irish Community Air Ambulance and Bumbleance, the Children’s National Ambulance Service.

Angus charity auction

The idea of holding a charity auction came from Colin Duffy, of the Kilgarvin Angus herd in Co. Westmeath.

In December 2022, he proposed the idea to the 3,200 members of the Angus Stars of the Future Facebook group – which he set up five years ago – and the response, he said, “exceeded all expectations”.

Other breeders and AI companies have independently supported the fundraiser, donating 117 Angus AI straws from 45 bulls.

Duffy explained: “Given the unprecedented levels of interest that the fundraiser gathered, we collectively made a decision to move from a raffle concept to an online timed-auction route instead.

“This will give any breeder interested in buying straws the chance to buy the exact straws they want.

“In line with this, we are lucky that Jamie Nolan of MartEye came onboard along with Martin Ryan of Mid Tipp Mart to facilitate our auction,” Duffy added.

Commenting on the proceeds of the event, he described the Irish Community Air Ambulance as “a vital service”, saying that “all of us in the farming community will never know when we might be in a position to avail of its life-saving services”.

Bumbleance, Ireland’s first interactive ambulance for children, provides “safe and comfortable transportation for children between their homes and hospitals, hospices, treatment centres and respite centres nationally” he added.

“We will also have a donation lot which will allow anyone that may not want to buy a straw to donate to these charities.

“Anyone who buys straws will be put in touch with the seller to organise collection,” he said.

A spokesperson for MartEye added: “People will have to request to bid. They may have to fill out additional information about themselves, including their address, phone number, etc.

“All lots will start at €0. People can click on the picture of each lot and scroll down to see more information. On Monday evening, the lots will begin to close. If a bid is put on in the last minute, the lot will reopen for another minute.”

People will have the option of using the max-bid function where they can submit their highest bid. This will allow the computer to bid on their behalf only if someone else bids.