CATTLEMAN recounts a way of life rapidly becoming an Irish folk memory. Raymond Keogh’s working life revolved around the famous Dublin Cattle Market, a sprawling collection of pens on the North Circular Road. From fairs and farms throughout Ireland, Raymond – as had his father and grandfather before him – bought finished and unfinished cattle for live export. The animals were freighted by what was then a truly national rail network to North County Dublin,thence to the Dublin Cattle Market, where English buyers bought them, drove them through the streets of the capital to Dublin’s North Wall and loaded them on waiting cattle boats destined for Liverpool and Birkenhead. Cattle were Ireland’s principal export.
Raymond’s cattle-dealing life led to his becoming Ireland’s largest ‘owner’ of milch cows, none of which ever died before his Livestock Credit Corporation had been repaid in full.
Cattle followed Raymond’s father, Jack Keogh, to Brighton Road, Foxrock, and into a ten-acre field that Jack had bought unwittingly at the time he purchased Carrick Byrn on a whim, for £8,200. The cattle were followed into Brighton Road by thoroughbred broodmares. One of those mares foaled there. That foal became Hedgehunter, winner of the 2005 Grand National. A couple of years later that lucky ten-acre field was sold for €50 million.
Raymond’s lengthy association with the Ward Union Hunt led to his becoming successively Secretary, Master and Chairman. A similar involvement with racehorse ownership saw Raymond’s unique stag’s head colours successful in Ireland’s most valuable hurdle race, with bargain buy Irian.
RAYMOND KEOGH was born to be a cattle dealer, as his father and grandfather had been before him. He never wanted to do anything else. CATTLEMAN recounts his life and times at country fairs and the Dublin Cattle Market, a way of life that has already become the stuff of history. Co-founder of the Livestock Credit Corporation, with his father Christopher, he recounts how this financial breakthrough triggered a dramatic expansion of Ireland’s dairy industry. The LCC never lost a single cow. As Master and later Chairman of the Ward Union Hunt, he did much to ensure the successful continuation of that tradition in the face of an ever-increasing urban sprawl. His love of the chase led him into racehorse owning and breeding, with its inevitable triumphs and disasters.
GUY ST JOHN WILLIAMS, fourth generation of the Tullamore Dew and Irish Mist dynasty, eventually heeded another legacy, as a writer. Oliver St John Gogarty was his maternal grandsire. Remission from a lifelong involvement in horse racing has allowed him to complete numerous books, not all of them related to his primary preoccupation. Previous works include A Year in Connemara and The Renvyle Letters.
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ISBN: 978 0 9562231 73
234 x 156 mm
March 29 2012