Club Meetings

A post pandemic rejuvenated Belted Galloway Club of Ireland held meetings of members and interested parties at Harry Irvine’s Tardree farm in February and in Athlone in October.

Belties on the Show Circuit

Belted Galloway classes were in the book for Ballymoney, Ballymena and Antrim Shows with all three well supported and a respectable number of top-quality animals presented on the days, with continued interest from show visitors.

Farm Walk

Saturday 30th September saw a group of around 70 Belted Galloway breeders and supporters from all four provinces of Ireland gather for a long-anticipated farm walk at the Gruige herd near Loughgiel in the Antrim hills.

The overcast morning did nothing to dampen the spirits of those in attendance, who were warmly received with tea and coffee before setting off up the hill in a cavalcade of tractors and trailers generously supplied by Ballycastle and District Ploughing Society.

On the brae face of Gruige mountain the group was treated to a show of fine pedigree cattle with detailed narration of the bloodlines and characteristics of the various animals from the host Dessy Henry. The visitors were granted an insight into the farming systems and practices that have been carefully moulded over the years and generations on Gruige by the Henry family into what is now one of the most well-known and recognised herds of Belted Galloways in Ireland.

For those willing to brave the deteriorating weather conditions there was a further journey to the top of Gruige mountain, with the last few hundred metres on foot over what is ideal terrain for Belted Galloways and where the cows of the Gruige herd spend the summer months. With views stretching far into the horizon it was a treat for all those present.
On returning to the farmyard visitors were treated to a great spread of Beltie beef burgers, hot dogs and sweet bites carefully prepared by the hosts and their dedicated team of assistants.

Charity Fundraising

Through the donation of a very generous breeder, The Belted Galloway Club of Ireland joined with Cancer Focus NI to raffle a Dun and White pedigree heifer raising a total of £4730.

Club Awards

Two new awards, to be presented annually going forward by the Club received their first engravings with the “Best Show Animal of the Year” sponsored by Harry Irvine of the Tardree herd going to Dessy Henry’s Gruige Molly and the “Best Young Handler” sponsored by Brian Edgar of the Broomhill herd going to joint winners Robyn and Lucy Thompson. These awards along with the cups for show champion at Ballymoney and Ballymena shows (Richard Creith, Ballylough herd) and Antrim show (Dessy Henry, Gruige herd) were presented at the farm walk in September.


On Monday November 27th the club facilitated a webinar with an official from the Organic Trust speaking and explaining the benefits of organic farming and the regulations for joining the organics scheme fielding an informative Q&A session. Niall and Elaine Kelly from Mespil Belted Galloway herd in Galway shared their experience farming belted Galloways organically.

Mooving forward

There has been an increase in breeders and those interested in becoming Belted Galloway breeders and club members in Ireland and this bodes well for the future of the breed across the island and with an ever-increasing number of young handlers becoming active in the show rings there is a lot to be positive about and encouraged by.