HALL OF FAME AWARDS 2012 06 May 2012

06 May 2012
The Charolais 2012 Hall of Fame is awarded to Bobby O’Connell, Ballybrown Herd, Clarina, Co. Limerick for his outstanding and unrelenting contribution to the Charolais breed in Ireland.  As a famous French writer once espoused ‘by appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property’.   The Society is proud to claim Bobby as one of their own and we show our appreciation for his  excellence – not just in the Charolais cattle he has bred, but in his willingness and enthusiasm for the development of the bred in Ireland.

Bobby’s herd, Ballybrown, was established 20 years ago (1992)  in Clarina, Co. Limerick.  Its foundation female, MARLENE, which was purchased in France, has gone on to be one of the females of her generation producing numerous championship successes.

Bobby has won numerous Championships in shows such as Limerick, Charleville, Cappamore, Cork, Pilltown, Bandon, Clonakilty and Carrick on Shannon.  His achievements and participation at shows are only limited by the geographical limits of this island.  Indeed, every Sunday from May to October, Bobby has been a stalwart exhibitor at summer Shows.  Such promotion of the breed is an innate part of his love for Charolais cattle, and he does so nonchalantly, and tirelessly.  This is evidently seen by the outstanding presentation of his stock, and their quality that Bobby puts forward at every Society show and sale in which he is involved.  An example of this is his annual pilgrimage to the Ploughing Match following a call from Nuala to come on with an exceptional example of the breed.  A task risen to without effort or boast.

One of Ballybrown’s proudest achievements was when BALLYBROWN URHIGHNESS won the National Show Calf Champion in 2004, and then went on to take the Charolais Championship at the Royal Highland show in Scotland.  Bobby has also sold innumerable successful stock bulls in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Supporting one’s local club is one of the foundations of any breed society.  Bobby truly recognizes this.  He is chair of his local Charolais Club in Limerick and Clare, and devotes much time and effort to club activities.  As displayed by the 2011 open day on Bobby’s farm.  Indeed, the Charolais bull motif on Bobby’s lorries from his quarry business is the type of advertisement one cannot buy – and is a source of cheer and amusement in the mid-west.

In giving this award to Bobby we celebrate the man, as well as what he has done for the Charolais breed.  Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers, once advised that we should ‘Be a yardstick of quality’  Bobby provides us, and continues to provide us with such a yardstick.  And not just of quality.  For those of us who know Bobby well, his willingness and commitment to the Charolais breed is unsurpassed.  However, it is his magnetic personality, his quick wit and willingness to help with all manner of technical issues, such as a generator not starting or the engine of a lorry breaking down, that endear us to him.

As in all other areas of life, Ballybrown Herd is not just Bobby’s remit.  It operates on the combined efforts and support of Bobby’s wife, Pauline and sister Elma, who are well-known in the Charolais world, and their daughter, Sarah, and two sons, Richard and Robert.

Bobby, it is with much pride and joy, that we, the Charolais Society, enlist you to our Hall of Fame.




CHAROLAIS recipient 2012 Hall of Fame Award, Bobby O’Connell, Ballybrown Charolais Herd, Clarina, Co. Limerick, receives his Scroll from Matt Dempsey, Editor & Chief Executive Irish Farmers’ Journal.