The Irish Moiled Cattle Society is set to host an open day on September 3, at Killua Castle in Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath (C15 EWF2).

The event will get underway at 11:00a.m and speaking to Agriland ahead of the event, farm manager Anthony Gilsenan said there will be “something for everyone” on the day.

According to Gilsenan, the breed is growing in popularity.

“At the Tullamore Show this year, the Irish Moiled Cattle Society noticed a lot more interest in the breed than it has seen in past years,” the Killua Castle farm manager explained.

He added that as well as the polled breed’s many desirable characteristics, its eligibility for payment under the conservation of rare breeds action as part of the new Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) is generating a significant amount of additional interest in the native Irish cattle breed.

The scheme requires identification documents and pedigree certificates issued by the society for each individually registered animal.

Open day

On the day, attendees will meet at the castle at 10:30a.m.

Farmers can bring their partners and if they’re not interested in the livestock and beef aspect, they can go for a walk around the boardwalk.

“We have our own EU-certified processing facility on an out-farm so anyone that’s interested in seeing how we’re dry-ageing or cutting up the meat can get a tour of our plant. It’s only a small facility, but it works well for our own use,” said Gilsenan.

“We will return to the castle at 1:00p.m and go to look at livestock then,” he said.

“We’re going to have some of our breeding animals that have been classified as four and five-star animals under the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation’s (ICBF’s) Euro-Star index in one group and anything not four or five-stars will be in a separate group.

“We will discuss the genomics of both groups and demonstrate if any difference can be seen in the animals.”

“We will have a few of our beef bullocks on display here too on the day.”

“In Northern Ireland over the past couple of years, Irish Moiled farmers have successfully marketed the ‘Certified Irish Moiled Beef’ but in the Republic of Ireland, this hasn’t been done, so that’s where we’re trying to come into the market now.

“We’re going to try and sell nothing only rare breed-beef and specialise in the Moileds.”

Commenting on the taste and eating quality of Irish Moiled beef, the farm manager said: “It’s unbelievable. Even with the mince, the flavour is fantastic because you have the marbling going through the meat and that comes through in the mince also.

“But these cattle do take that little bit longer to finish,” he added.

About Killua Castle

Killua Castle is located in the heart of Ireland in Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath. It lay in ruins for over 60 years before being restored and brought back to life. 

The castle is surrounded by green landscape which rises and falls like waves as far as the eye can see and is now home to rare breeds such as the Irish Moileds, Jacob sheep, old Irish Goats and parkland deer as well as chickens all reared in a nature inclusive manner. 

Killua Castle is currently owned by Sangines-Krause family, which has restored the castle to its former glory by piecing together its history to make it as authentic as it would have been when first built.

Having purchased a number of females Irish Moiled cattle in the online ‘Magnificent Moilie’ Sale through auctioneers Harrison and Hetherington, Gilsenan also purchased one the best stockbulls he could buy – Ravelglen Rocky – privately from Brian O’Kane, which was the start of the Killua Herd of Irish Moileds. 

In September, Killua Castle will open the Twelve Points restaurant named after its signature stag with dishes featuring its own rare and native breeds such as Irish Moiled beef, lamb, venison, free range chickens and eggs. 

The farm’s animals are sustainably raised on grass pastures. The farm will also will be using local fresh produce in the restaurant and visitors will get a preview of this new venture.

There will be an artisan street food van selling Irish Moiled burgers and refreshments.

Irish Moiled Cattle Sale

The annual autumn Magnificent Moilie online sale will be taking place from 7:00p.m on Tuesday, September 27, to 7:00p.m on Thursday, September 29.

The sale will have a large selection of elite females available for sale and the online catalogue will be available through the Irish Moiled Cattle Society’s Facebook page and Harrison and Hetherington Auctioneers.