The death has been announced of Pat Farrelly – widely recognised over many years as one of the most innovative farmers in the Co. Meath area.

The Kells man first rose to prominence, in tandem with his two brothers – Tom and Michael, as a pioneer of large-scale dairy farming practices in the North East.

Together, the Farrellys broke new ground in developing an efficient business partnership, which they successfully mirrored with new ideas in driving technical performance within a commercial dairy farming set-up.

Many of the farming practices, which are now regarded as the norm on almost every Irish livestock farm, were often put through their commercial paces for the first time on the Farrelly farm.

At their peak, the brothers were milking 300 cows and farming 1,000 acres. They were positive that driving efficiency within a farming business is the only way to deliver profitability and long-term sustainability.

In later years, Pat became equally well known, in his own right, as one of Co. Meath’s most proficient beef finishers with, again, the focus placed on breaking from the norm by securing the best possible friesian livestock growth rates from grass.

Pat’s love for his family and native county were complemented by a deep interest in Ireland’s rural way of life.

He fully recognised the core role which the farming and food industries play within the Irish economy: but knew this could only be achieved by putting the needs of the land first.

Pat died yesterday (Tuesday) peacefully after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Olive and seven children – including his son Cormac, the owner of Agriland, Paula, Ashling, Michael, Peter, Ciaran and Aoife as well as 14 grandchildren.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.