Behind the Hammer: Matthew Donnellan


Catherina meets Matthew Donnellan; a cattle dealer turned a livestock auctioneer who has recently opened a pub in the heart of Co. Roscommon.

Behind the Hammer: Matthew Donnellan

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  • 1 mth ago

Catherina meets Matthew Donnellan; a cattle dealer turned a livestock auctioneer who has recently opened a pub in the heart of Co. Roscommon.

Livestock auctioneer Matthew Donnellan bravely turned his hand to a new trade last August by opening a lively watering hole in the heart of County Roscommon. The Brewery which is owned by the Bailieborough, Co. Cavan native and Patrick McEnaney has blossomed into a thriving social hub, with the sizeable farming community around the county at the fore of the establishment.

“I was coming through Roscommon one day in June and spotted the sign on a pub for lease. Patrick and I identified Roscommon’s potential and decided to give it a go. I never worked in a bar until I landed in Roscommon, so I was thrown into the deep end.” Matthew told Catherina Cunnane of That’s Farming.

“The people of Roscommon are fantastic and have been very supportive. The business is doing very well since we hit the ground running. The tap is always flowing and the music is always rolling, so it is keeping us on our feet.” Matthew added.

Cattle Dealing

While the running of this operation is a new venture for Matthew, he is not your average newbie publican, as the well-esteemed long-standing livestock auctioneer is still selling cattle and sheep, a career that he embarked on back in 2000.

With extensive experience under his belt, Matthew knows all too well about being in the hot seat on the rostrum but also knows about the trials and tribulations when it comes the other side of the ring, having once filled the shoes of a cattle dealer.

“I was reared on a suckler farm on Cavan soil. At 14, I began going around marts daily to deal in livestock, mainly suckler pairings. My venture as a cattle dealer gradually progressed into a break into the auctioneering trade.” Matthew explained.

Livestock Auctioneering

As a master of his craft, Matthew dabbled in the sale of property for years and once owned his own office, but after-time decided that his ultimate focus should be on his first and foremost interest- the livestock mart scene. Livestock auctioneering is now a part-time affair, with Matthew to be found officiating as the auctioneer at sales in Ballyjamesduff; Drumshanbo; Ballybay; Mayo-Sligo; Aurivo Ballinrobe and Aurivo Balla.

Mr. Donnellan is renowned for his sense of wit and keeping a lively trade as quite humorously demonstrated by his ability to acquire €1,000 for a sliced pan during Storm Emma, as seen on That’s Farming. As every auctioneer relishes the idea of putting their own unique stamp on the game, Matthew embraces his musical ear and breaks into a chorus of a country or folk song without a given warning in the middle of a sale, which explains why living life as an auctioneer and a publican is the ideal fit for this particular Cavan man.

“I am a people’s person and that is why selling a heifer or selling a pint or whatever it may be, definitely comes naturally to me; it is something that I immensely enjoy. I get a great kick out of it.” Matthew explained.

Future Outlook

As his new business continues to sky-rocket to success, now being the cornerstone of Roscommon town, Matthew is quick to reveal that he will not be hanging up his white auctioneering coat anytime soon.

“The plan is to do more livestock auctioneering as time progresses. I am thinking of opening up a yard in the West of Ireland to do machinery auctions, as I also sell at those.” Matthew concluded.

If you are a Livestock Auctioneer and you want to share your story, get in touch – Email catherina@thatsfarming.com and you may just be featured on That’s Farming next week.

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Matthew Donnellan from That's Farming Media on Vimeo.

Video: via Facebook page of Emma Donnellan.

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