Pat Mulcahy, known as ‘the mindful farmer’, was presented with the Rémy Martin lifetime achievement award at the 2019 Cork Business Awards.
The former Garda, who grew up in west Limerick, is the owner of Ballinwillin House Farm in Mitchelstown, along with his wife Miriam. Ballinwillin is said to be the only combined organic farmed venison, wild boar and goat farm in Ireland and the UK and meat from the farm is used by many of Ireland’s top chefs.
The property is also home to a boutique B&B; the music festival, Indiependence; a custom-built cellar stocked with wines from the family’s Hungarian vineyard, Chateau Mulcahy; a ‘thinking path’; and a personally designed garden with areas devoted to forgiveness, mindfulness and meditation.
The lifetime achievement award was presented to Pat by former TV presenter and wellness consultant Bibi Baskin at a black tie dinner. In her citation, she described Pat’s interests as being closely aligned with her own.
“If you visit his B&B you will find in the grounds the most marvellous physical expression of this way of life, a mindfulness garden; a sacred place which can lead you on to the path of forgiveness, of understanding, of forging a closer connection with nature,” she said.
Known as ‘the mindful farmer’ Pat, as a child, developed a system to cope with the challenges of growing up on a small farm. He helped his father who had a butchery, grew vegetables and ran a mobile shop.
From as young as eight years-of-age he was unknowingly practising mindfulness. This, he said, helped him immensely during his work in his first career as a Garda which included a stint at Portlaoise prison. He also worked as a horticulturalist.
In 2018, he realised a lifelong dream to share his mental health practices when he launched ‘RetrEAT’ at Ballinwillin House Farm, a residential experience that focuses on nourishing the body and mind. Guests immerse themselves in the tranquil surroundings of the property with workshops in the garden and enjoy food from the farm and wine from the cellar, Pat said.
I practice mindfulness daily and it is essential to help me start and end the day on a positive note.
Pat has been a guest at various events such as the Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic, and on December 1 he hosted ‘Winefulness’ at Taste of Dublin – Festive Edition. The ‘mindful’ wine tasting featured wine from Chateau Mulcahy, his vineyard in Hungary.