14 September 2019

Wonderful Day For Dovea Genetics As They Launch Historical Book ‘From Landlords To Genetics’

Tipperary All-Star hurler, Noel McGrath launched a new historical book “From Landlords to Genetics” at the headquarters of Dovea Genetic outside Thurles last week. The book commissioned by Dovea Genetics tells the fascinating story of the Trant Estate in Dovea, Thurles and the fortunes of its owners, the Trant family, who built Dovea House, which is today headquarters for the successful Dovea Genetics business.

Speaking at the launch McGrath who was voted Man of the Match after Tipperary’s victorious All-Ireland final said; “I’m delighted to launch this fantastic book. The Dovea Genetics business is well known to everyone around Ireland, especially those from a farming background. It is wonderful what they have done with the historic house and estate and I wish them many more years of success.”

Dovea Genetics was founded in 1952 by a number of local co-operatives as one of Ireland’s AI Stations. Today, Dovea Genetics remains a truly independent AI station with a thriving domestic and export business. It operates from the former estate of the Trant family who were extensive landlords in the Thurles area since the mid-1700s. Conscious of the heritage they inherited, the board and management embarked on a major project of estate restoration and associated heritage research, culminating in the publication of an all-embracing history of Dovea.

According to John P. Nugent, Chairman of Dovea Genetics “In many ways this book is an acknowledgement to the Trant family for their decision in the 1940s to offer the estate for the betterment of agriculture in the area. With the establishment of the successful Dovea Genetics business, which has had a significant positive impact on famers across the region, their objective has certainly been met.”

Speaking about the project Dovea Genetics General Manager, Ger Ryan said; “Dovea House and demesne is a unique work environment. Our visiting customers are constantly surprised when greeted by a 17th Century period home which plays host to a modern-day, thriving business. Everyone who works in Dovea has a keen appreciation for the heritage of our organisation so we feel fortunate to have been able to undertake a major restoration of the house and to complete a research programme on its history.”

The book is the combined effort of a voluntary group of Tipperary scholars lead by local historian George Cunningham who noted; “This is a beautifully presented work of significant historical record telling the story of the historical and modern Trant estate in Dovea. Our group worked assiduously for over two years gathering relevant material to follow the fortunes of the family from before and during their tenure in Dovea, with a detailed record of the establishment and growth of the current Dovea Genetics business.”

‘From Landlords to Genetics’ tells the story of the estate from its establishment in the post Cromwellian period through the different social and political changes in Irish Society right up to the Trant family departure and the story of the current occupants Dovea Genetics.

The story is, in many ways, the story of the emerging Irish state but told from the perspective of one influential family. However, it is that personal perspective that provides the nuance often missing from the more polarised accounts of modern Irish history. The 380-page full colour hard back book has national historical value with new information and analysis on important historical events like the controversial Cormack brothers’ executions, the 19th century landlord period and the Trant family’s contribution to the emerging Irish State. 

Brief history of Dovea Genetics and the Dovea Estate

In 1944 Captain Laurence Trant attended a lecture given to farmers in the Thurles district by Dr. Henry Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Irish cooperative movements and subsequently offered Dovea as a demonstration farm for the betterment of the local farming community. Dovea House and the farm of 200 hectares was later bought by Centenary Co-operative, Bouladuff, Thurles.

Centenary’s visionary manager, Dan O'Mahoney, was instrumental in organising the Bovine Artificial Insemination Centre. By the 1950s fifty-two co-operative creameries in the region became members of the newly formed South Eastern Cattle Breeding Society Limited which was headquartered in Dovea House.

Dovea Genetics was established in 1952 and more than a half century later the business has over 100 bulls standing at stud producing semen for the Irish and export market.
The aim of Dovea Genetics is to facilitate the improvement of the genetic merit of the Irish cattle herd – both dairy and beef – by providing the best available genetics. The resultant progeny deliver increased efficiencies with healthier, better production and more profitable livestock to the farmer.

Books For Sale
There is currently a launch offer of €25 for the book so if interested call Dovea on 0504-21755.