Olympic gold medalist Kellie Harrington thanks dairy farmers at Cork event

Olympic gold medalist Kellie Harrington thanks dairy farmers at Cork event

National Dairy Council ambassador and Olympic Gold Medalist, Kellie Harrington ahead of this morning's NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards at Moorepark. Pic: National Dairy Council

OLYMPIC Gold medalist Kellie Harrington has thanked dairy farmers for producing “the best quality produce in the world” to help fuel her training, at an award ceremony in Cork.

The boxing medalist was at Moorepark near Fermoy this morning to present the 2021 National Dairy Council and Kerrygold Quality Milk Award.

The Dubliner told the finalists for the awards: “On behalf of Irish people & sports people across the country, I want to say thank you for producing the best quality produce in the world.” 

The overall winners of the awards were Limerick father and son Michael and Alex McCarthy.


The overall runner up and winner of the Business Innovation award was the O’Sullivan family from Whitechurch. John O’Sullivan has farmed for almost 50 years and is joined in the enterprise by his wife Teresa and sons John and Victor.


In a live link up to the ceremony, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue there needs to be a constant move to “prove and improve”.

The chief executive of the National Dairy Council, Zoe Kavanagh, told the finalists: “Your excellence everyday, not only nourishes the domestic consumer but the 40 million consumers across the world that enjoy Irish dairy.” 

And she said that dairy enterprises in Ireland are grass fed, family farmed, high quality and extremely progressive, which she described as “proof points as to why we are the best small dairy producer in the world”.

Among the finalists were five Cork farm families – O’Sullivans from Whitechurch, Barrys from Cecilstown, Hurleys in Bandon, Kingstons in Skibbereen and McCarthys from Rosscarbery.

The award ceremony took place during the three-day dairy event being hosted at Teagasc’s Moorepark facility, which got underway on Tuesday.

Among the virtual events is an industry forum being broadcast online this evening at 7pm from Moorepark on the challenges and opportunities faced by the Irish dairy industry. It will be chaired by RTÉ’s Sharon Ní Bheoláin. The panel includes the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue; director of Teagasc, Professor Gerry Boyle; chief executive of Ornua, John Jordan, and chairwoman of the Climate Change Advisory Council, Marie Donnelly.

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