Unique auction raises £22,000 for Northern Ireland Children's Hospice

21 June 2018

Cattle breeders have rallied around a young Trillick boy fighting a rare illness by putting valuable cow embryos up for sale in a unique auction that has raised a staggering £22,000 for charity.

Andrew McFarland (8) is living with a rare neurodegenerative condition - a variant form of Late Infantile Batten Disease (CLN5) which causes blindness, complex epilepsy, loss of mobility and the ability to communicate. The British Limousin Bull Society hosted the charity auction in Ballymena last month where proceeds from the sale of two Limousin embryos will be donated to the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

The auction raised the funds for the charity after Howard McFarland, who runs the Rahoney Herd in Trillick, donated the embryos in recognition of the care his nephew Andrew receives. Andrew’s parents Graham and Joanne are also from the farming community. Other farming members of the British Limousin Cattle Society rallied behind the McFarland family and donated embryos that were sold at another auction in Carlisle recently. The combined effort, which includes a JustGiving page, has raised £22,000 to date.

The family are humbled by the generosity of BLCS members, not only by the outstanding donations but also from the willing purchasers and those who gave up their time in the planning and preparation of the fundraising events.

Andrew’s father Graham said: “The entire family circle are totally amazed by the kindness and generosity shown by so many at the Auctions held at Carlisle and Ballymena in support of the NI Children’s Hospice, we deeply appreciate the support received from The British Limousin Cattle Society and its members”.

“Donations have been received from family, friends, neighbours, local businesses and strangers from wide and far and we are very thankful to everyone who has given something. Please keep Andrew in your thoughts and prayers”.

David Thomlinson, Honorary President at the British Limouisn Cattle Society said: “It is amazing what our members have achieved in coming together for this worthwhile cause, what a generous community of breeders we have.”