Athlone Show Hall of fame awards 2015
IDHBA Recipient - Michael Swords

  Michael Swords  
  Michael Swords being presented with his award by Michael Ring TD Minister for Tourism and Sport  


Born at Raharney, Co Westmeath on an eighty acre drystock farm.

Educated at:    St Finian’s College, Mullingar,
Salesian Agricultural College, Warrenstown, Co Meath
University College, Dublin
The Institute of Public Administration
N.U.I. Maynooth and Open University

Work Experience:       Spent twenty years in Agricultural Advisory Service and twenty years as a lecturer and Vice-Principal of Ballyhaise Agricultural College in Co Cavan.  Before retiring in 2006 he spent two years as the Teagasc Equine Specialist Adviser for the northern part of the country.

His Involvement with I.D.H.S.

  1. He was elected Secretary of the Cavan/Monaghan Branch in 1991- this Branch had been inactive for a number of years, within four years membership reached over 76 members.


  1. He represented the Branch at council meetings for twenty years with his good friend the late Brian Wall.


  1. He and a local committee organised the Leader Quality Mare Scheme in 1993 whereby the owners of 70 quality mares got a grant of €500 each.
  1. He helped to organise along with the Teagasc Equine Specialist – John O’Beirne, 25 hour horse production courses to comply with the conditions of some of the horse incentive schemes.


  1. Branch members received four newsletters per year.


  1. Irish Draught Horse sales started at Cavan Equestrian Centre in 1992.  Michael checked all the sales entry forms and filled out the pedigrees where needed – after the sale he did a detailed analysis of the sale which was circulated widely.

In 2009 Michael stepped down as Branch Secretary.  Since retiring from Teagasc in 2006 Michael has written the centenary history of Ballyhaise College.  He has studied local history and acts as tour guide for groups visiting Cavan town.  He is presently along with two colleagues writing a social history of Cavan town from 1900.

In the recent past he was asked by the Leitrim Branch to interview two of their members on video tape – traditional Irish Draught breeder Pat Cooke from Carrigallen and Michael Casey from Mohill a noted breeder and judge of Irish Draught stock.

He resides with his wife Bernadette at Tullycoe House, Cavan where he keeps a few sports horses.