It’s been a long winter for pedigree enthusiasts who have awaited the return of shows and sales. On Saturday, 24 February, the wait was finally over, as the Irish Charolais Cattle Society (ICCS) made its return to GVM Mart Tullamore for its annual February show and sale of bulls.

There were 109 bulls catalogued for the day’s event, with many double-entered for this sale and the Society’s Premier Sale on Saturday, 16 March. As a result, there were 68 bulls presented on the day, with well over half going on to secure their place in herds in every corner of the country.

With the quality higher than ever before for the February sale, judge Murt Ryan and junior judge Sophie Cassidy had a number of tough calls to make in the show ring ahead of the sale.

For Matt Ryan of the Kilvilcorris herd in Thurles, Co Tipperary, it was a wonder day of sorts, when he took home two red rosettes and a second place in the classes. Stepping forward into the junior championship later that morning, Matt’s October 2022-born bull, Kilvilcorris Travis, claimed the champion sash. Sired by Pirate, out of a Blelack Digger dam, going back to Donally New (CF52), Meillard RJ, Invincible and Balthayock Adonis, this young bull had it all going for him.

Standing with five-stars on replacement and five-stars on terminal and with an easy-calving figure of just 2.6%, auctioneer Tom Cox dropped the hammer at €6,000 to a suckler farmer in Co Clare.

The Kilvilcorris herd rose to the top once again, with its first-prize winner, Kilvilcorris Tyler 2 when the hammer fell once again at the sale-topping figure of €6,000. The December 2022-born bull was sired by Bunratty Mike Tyson and bred from a Prime Roberto dam. He boasted three stars on replacement and five stars on terminal, and was also well below the breed average for calving difficulty at just 3.2%. He sold to a farmer in Co Mayo.

Matt Ryan and purchaser Darragh Reidy, pictured with first prize-winner Kilvilcorris Tyler 2, that sold for €6,000. \ Tricia Kennedy

Third time was certainly the charm for the Ryan family, when their third entry, Kilvilcorris Tate, secured one of the next highest prices in the sale, when he was purchased by a Roscommon breeder for €4,800. The second-prize winner was born in October 2022 and sired by Invincible, out of a Goldstar Echo cow. Tate was very easy calving at just 2.9% and carried €90 of a replacement index and €141 of a terminal index.

Nicky Byrne from Oughterard, Co Galway, secured the next highest price of the sale with his October 2022-born bull Perennial Tiesto. Sired by Magicien, Tiesto was bred from a Tombapik cow going back to Blelack Digger and with four-stars on replacement and five on terminal; the hammer fell at €5,200 to a Co Kilkenny breeder.

Byrne struck for a second time with his October 2022-born bull, Perennial Trader. Trader was sired by Jogging and was bred from a Culkenny Murry dam. With a calving ease of just 1.6%, the double five-star bull sold for €4,500 to a farmer in Co Laois.

Next to hit the €5,000 mark was Pat McClean all the way from Lifford, Co Donegal. Pat secured €5,000 for one of the first bulls into the ring, Roughan Toto. The June 2022-born bull was sired by the homebred Roughan Newlook and bred from a Roughan Justin dam, Roughan Nice. Toto boasted four stars on replacement and five stars on terminal, with one of the easiest calving figures in the catalogue at just 1.8%.

Ballym Toronto from the Quinn family from Edenderry, Co Offaly, was next to top the polls at Saturday’s sale, when the hammer fell for the August 2022-born bull at €4,900. With a page flooded with stars, a replacement index of €120 and a terminal index of €175, alongside a calving figure of just 5.4%, the Ballym Mylove son found his new home with a breeder in Co Kilkenny.

PJ and Matt Ryan with junior judge Sophie Cassidy, pictured with junior champion Kilvilcorris Travis, that sold for €6,000 at the ICCS February show and sale in Tullamore. \ Tricia Kennedy

Other notable prices

  • Larahill Tarzan, from John O’Connor and sired by Jupiter, sold for €4,400.
  • Cattanview Top Gun, from Tim Higgins and sired by Fiston, sold for €4,300.
  • Firoda Tarzan, from Seamus Nolan and sired by Military, sold for €4,300.
  • Carrickbawn Topper, from Adrian Judge and sired by CF52, sold for €4,200.
  • Laraghcastle Thomas, from Kathleen Kenny and sired by Magicien (French), sold for €4,100.
  • Derryolam Tipit, from Niall McNally and sired by Scardaun Mark, sold for €4,100.
  • Droumadesert Thorell, from Elizabeth O’Leary and sired by Lapon, sold for €4,000.
  • Shessiagh Theo, from Stephen McGrenaghan and sired by Roughan Laquard, sold for €4,000.
  • Derryolam Tonic, from Niall McNally and sired by Dovea Gin Tonic, sold for €4,000.
  • Bud Tim (ET), from Olivia Purcell and sired by Dromiskin Viceroy, sold for €4,000.
  • Key figures

    Just under half of the bulls sold cleared the €4,000 mark.

  • 2024: 55% clearance. Average: €3,933.
  • 2023: 70% clearance. Average: €3,007.
  • 2022: 53% clearance. Average: €3,614.