With top quality stock regularly on offer and exceptional prices paid only, Tuam Co-Operative Livestock Mart continues to prosper. Irish Tractor & Agri caught up with long-serving manager Marion Devane to find out what a typical working week looks like.
When Marion Devane first walked through the doors of Tuam Co-Operative Livestock Mart to start a Fás course, little did she think that she would still be there 40 years later. It’s no exaggeration to say that she has become a permanent fixture since and is now recognised as the public face of the mart.
This July marks four decades of loyal and committed service for the popular Marion who has sat behind the manager’s desk for the past 14 years after taking over the reins from Michael Mannion.
“The Co-Op was set up by local farmers in 1960,” Marion explained. “There is a 16-person committee under the chairmanship of Gerry Hoade. I’ll have been working here for 40 years in July for my sins!” she laughed.
All joking aside, the efficiency, dedication and professionalism of Marion and her team of five full-time and 15 part-time employees ensure that Tuam Co-op Livestock Mark continues to develop and grow its business.
Continued investment in the development of its facilities underpins the high-quality service that buyers and sellers have come to expect from the Galway-based mart.
As a customer focused Co-Op, Marion and the committee have embraced new technologies and catered for the needs of their customers. They are proud of their philosophy in providing excellent customer service at all times.
When asked to talk us through a typical week in her demanding job, Marion – whose grandparents on both sides of her family were involved in agricultural – answered: “Firstly, the cattle are numbered and then we make contact with the sellers before touching base with the buyers.
“We wouldn’t expect people to travel long distance if we didn’t have enough stock here. We have buyers who come here from all over the country and we would be well-known for good quality stock.”
She added: “Cattle sales take place every Monday and every second Monday we do weanling sales from 6pm and that’s working well. Our sheep sales take place on a Tuesday at 5pm.
“We have the facilities to hold 1,000 cattle and during the months of August to October we could have up to 3,000 sheep.”
Market days are a lively hub of activity where farmers meet, sell their stock, do business together and catch up with friends and neighbours.
“We’re busy at the moment, the mart is going well,” Marion revealed. “The weather caused us a few problems but it is very much a case of so far, so good.”
Back in 2001, Tuam Co-Op Livestock Mart added another string to its bow with the opening of Tuam Mart Store.
The shop is located inside the mart yard, with access from three different entrances (Galway Road, Church View and Vicar Street) and there is ample parking in the mart yard for all size vehicles.
Under the stewardship of Brendan Dooley, the store carries a complete range of farm products from animal feeds, fertilizers, fencing, animal doses and farm seeds and all goods can be delivered where required by their truck and forklift.
Tuam Co-Op Livestock Mart has been providing its excellent service for approaching 60 years. They have achieved sustainable growth by always placing a strong emphasis on improving customer care and satisfaction which plays an integral part in their continued success.
Marion and her team pride themselves on providing a professional service that is both friendly and hands on.
“There are challenges, loads of them!” Marion acknowledged, “but I like to be very fair, and treat everyone equal. I like things done straight and everything above board.
“There are ups and downs as with every job but the majority of time it’s enjoyable work. Farmers are generally direct in their dealings with me and I like that about them. I understand them and they understand me,” she concluded.
Tuam Co-Op Livestock Mart
Tel: (093) 24353
Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 6 No 5, August 2018