RUAS recognition for long serving AFBI sheep scientist

Date published: 23 January 2017

Area of Expertise:

A member of the AFBI sheep research team, Dessie Irwin, was recently recognised with an award for over 50 years continual service by the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) at a special lunch event held in the Members Room at Balmoral.

L-R Royal Agricultural Society President, Billy Robson presented Dessie Irwin with his Long Service award to the industry, with Head of AFBI Hillsborough, Prof Trevor Gilliland

Dessie started work with the Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland at Hillsborough in 1965 which later became part of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).  Throughout this time he has played a vital role in supporting research work, particularly through his involvement in many on-farm sheep trials.

Prof Trevor Gilliland, Head of AFBI Hillsborough said “Dessie is a dedicated member of AFBI staff who is greatly valued by our researchers and the wider farming industry for his expertise and in depth knowledge of managing sheep studies.  It is really pleasing to see the RUAS recognise his remarkable achievements today, not just for 51 years of service but also for his contribution to the AFBI research programme which has resulted in considerable benefits for the wider sheep industry in Northern Ireland".

Dessie said of his award “I am proud to receive this award from the RUAS, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at AFBI Hillsborough, but I’m not going anywhere yet!”  So Dessie has no plans to retire at present and is looking forward to another busy lambing period at AFBI Hillsborough in the spring.

Notes to editors: 

AFBI carries out high quality technology research and development, statutory, analytical, and diagnostic testing functions for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies.

AFBI's Vision is “Scientific excellence in Northern Ireland …  serving the world”.

All media enquiries to AFBI Press Office

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