It was a very proud moment for Jill McCulloch on February 2016 when she learnt of the wonderful news that she was nominated by The South of Ireland branch of The Suffolk sheep society as their nominee for 2016 Hall of Fame award. Jill was in the Mater hospital at the time and it gave her, as she said herself a goal to be better for the May Bank holiday weekend in Athlone to collect this auspicious award.

 

Her flock The Clonswords Flock was established in 1916 by the McCulloch family and was the oldest flock in Ireland. When her father in law Jack McCulloch died in 1980, her husband Peter had no interest in the sheep. His interest was with the pedigree Holstein Friesian herd. So Jill, a bank manager’s daughter from Dundrum, Dublin said that she would take up the mantle and do her best to keep the flock going in the hope that one day maybe one of her six sons would take it on.

 

During the 25 years that followed, Jill worked so hard with her flock and gained many flock achievements, most notably in the South of Ireland branch Flock competition. She won the 0- 30 section in 1986, 1989, 1998 and 2003. Jill was a very competitive person and loved showing her sheep at Society events and local shows whereby she had great success. She was also a respected judge and was invited to judge at various Society shows and Sales around the country. Whenever she was asked to judge her answer was always yes.

 

Jill was also secretary and Chairperson of the South of Ireland Branch along with serving as our Council representative in the UK. She lived close to Dublin Airport, so many is the time she volunteered to collect, feed deliver many overseas judges and their spouses to and from the airport. On a personal level Jill and I shared stock Rams and production sales as well as many other interests. We made good friends in both the South of Ireland branch and the North Eastern Club.

 

It is with great sadness that Jill lost her battle with cancer on March 14th. Jill was my Best Friend and I will always miss her. I can tell you all with sincerity that this award meant so much to her.

 

Harry Kellett