Holiday herd:Cows cross the Shannon for pastures new

Galway farmer Michael Silke completed the dangerous migration of 30 of his herd across the River Shannon yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

Galway farmer Michael Silke completed the dangerous migration of 30 of his herd across the River Shannon yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

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Galway farmer Michael Silke completed the dangerous migration of 30 of his herd across the River Shannon yesterday. Photo: Mark Condren

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Mark Condren

Galway farmer Michael Silke took to the water yesterday to aid the migration of 30 of his dry stock herd across a 100-metre-wide stretch of the River Shannon.

It’s a somewhat risky manoeuvre to get the best summer grass, and a spell away on a holiday island for the 30 cows.

The cows and calves will enjoy 75 acres of organic chemical-free land on the nature reserve of Inishee.

Mr Silke was assisted by his brother, and former Galway hurling All-Star, Seán and nephew Mike.

“There’s significant danger in swimming the cows, particularly their calves. You could lose a calf very simply here. It’s a job you have to be very careful with,” Michael told Independent.ie.

Once they swim across, “it is like a holiday” for them.

He added: It is nutritious grass. This island is not fertilised, it’s not sprayed, just pure organic. The cows are delighted to get in here.”

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