Where are you from? Tell us a bit about your background.
I am a married father of two boys. Originally from outside Armagh, I now reside in Markethill. At the age of 16, I began my apprenticeship at a butcher shop in Scotch Street, Armagh, where I stayed for 15 years. Eventually, I took a job at a nearby supermarket, where I worked for 20 years, continuing to work with farm-to-fork produce. I have now moved on to my third job, with 35 years of experience in the industry - it's safe to say that this is all I know.
What exactly does your position at Killeavy Castle Estate entail?
At Killeavy Castle Estate, I am the Estate Butcher and can be found in the Farm Store. My responsibilities include managing the store and producing farm-to-fork meats, which we sell alongside other local produce like estate honey, chutneys, and vegetables. I also cure my own bacon and air-dry beef. Additionally, I prepare all meats for the chefs at the Restaurant, Bistro Bar and for weddings and events held on the estate.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy working with the chefs and their different requests for the various menus to offer different levels of experience throughout the Restaurant, Bistro Bar, weddings and events – I like a challenge! I love getting to meet people from different countries who stay on the Estate, and I especially enjoy getting to know all the locals. Every day is different, and that’s what makes it interesting for me.
What do you love most about Killeavy Castle Estate?
I love the picturesque views. The setting of Killeavy Castle Estate is breathtaking. As I drive up the estate driveway daily, I find it hard to believe this leads me to my place of work.
What is an interesting fact about you?
An interesting fact about me is that I was given my grandfather's 1973 Massey Ferguson tractor, which was in a bad state of repair. I decided to restore this and set about this task with my two sons. It was a labour of love, but we did it, and it was restored to its original glory. My grandfather was in his 90s at the time, and we got him on it and sat and got photographs of him with his two great-grandsons. It was a proud moment for me. It reminds me of the famous quote: Don’t stand and wonder how to do it – do it and wonder how you did it!