About the MRI Cattle Society of Ireland About Us

Registration of Cattle

Breeders are encouraged to add value to their stock by obtaining pedigree certificates for their MRI cattle. Not only are prospective buyers looking for such proof of the animal’s ancestry, having confirmation of one’s herd’s pedigree status is also advantageous in the unfortunate case of a disease outbreak within the herd.

Any Member of the Society who wishes to register cattle born into his herd shall register a herd prefix for which a one-off charge will be raised.

Registered cattle will be identified by the National I.D. (official DAFM ear tag) number. Animals will also be identified by the breeder’s herd prefix and an animal name. Registrations are processed and pedigree certificates are issued through ICBF’s data base which is linked to CMMS. For this purpose, breeders are required to authorise DAFM to disclose to the Society relevant data concerning their herd. The relevant form is available from the Secretary.

All imported, eligible cattle can be registered in the appropriate section of the Irish herd book once issued with a National I.D. by sending a registration request together with a copy of the animal’s export certificate to the Secretary.

Where calves are born as a result of artificial insemination from a bull registered in the Society’s herd book or another eligible MRI herd book, the official insemination certificate should be forwarded to the Society. Where more than one insemination has been made, all official insemination certificates shall be forwarded.

All stock bulls must be DNA tested in order for the progeny to be registered.

In addition to registration of pure bred MRI cattle, the herd book also provides for a grading-up program which facilitates a grade-up to pedigree status within three generations:-



 For further information on registering or upgrading your cattle, please contact the MRI Society


Applications for admission to Membership are invited to be made by individuals in "Form 1" and by bodies corporate in "Form 2" which are both available for download at the bottom of this article. Hard copy forms are available on request from the Secretary. Such applications are considered and determined by Council as soon as practicable after receipt. Successful applicants for Membership shall subscribe for one Ordinary Share in the Society and shall pay an Annual Subscription.


Any Member of the Society who fails to pay his Annual Subscription for any year within three months of the same becoming due, shall automatically cease to be a Member, but he shall be eligible for re-admission at the discretion of the Council upon payment of all arrears due from him.


Only paid-up Members of the Society are eligible to register cattle and will receive any of the Society’s publications and bulletins which Council considers useful to Members.

History of the MRI Cattle Society of Ireland

“All Ireland Ploughing Championship, Limerick 1991. Members of the MRI Cattle Breeders Club of Ireland: (from left to right) Christy Condon, Klaas Becker, Boy Hoff and Paul Miller”Since the 1970s, farmers in Ireland and the UK have been importing and breeding MRI cattle for dairy, beef and mixed enterprises.

This came essentially about by the Shorthorn Society’s effort to improve their breed as they embarked on a scheme known as “The Red Cow Improvement Scheme”. It is well known that the Shorthorn breed of cattle has two distinct strains, namely the beef strain and the dairy strain. The Dairy Shorthorn no longer fitted the bill for those farmers looking for a dual purpose animal. Various red breeds such as Danish Red, Normande, MRI and Angler were considered by the Shorthorn Society and tried on a controlled basis. In Ireland, Shorthorn breeder Colonel Watson of Ballingarrane Estate near Clonmel was very progressive and took an active part in the Scheme. After some extensive trials, the MRI breed of cattle was identified as fitting the criteria and has since been used by a number of Shorthorn breeders in the British Isles.

A side effect of the successful trials was that a number of breeders were so attracted by the merits of the MRI that a new breed society was formed in 1973, The MRI Cattle Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland, with a base in the UK. An upgrading scheme was introduced with the Society purchasing bulls and organising buying trips to and importation of pure-bred cattle from the Netherlands. By the mid-1980s MRI herds and Society membership in Ireland had got well established and semen sales funded the promotion and showing of Irish MRI animals at the Royal and Dairy Shows at Stoneleigh, UK. The first exhibition of MRI cattle at the National Ploughing Championships took place in 1988. To better allocate financial help to Irish breeders, the Society requested the formation of an Irish breeders club so that an entity rather than individuals could be financially supported.

Latest News

A.I. Sire Statistics 2014

Here is the Top Ten of most used MRI A.I. sires in Ireland with live offspring born in the calendar year 2014:-

AI Code

Bull Name

MY %

AI Company

2014 Offspring




Dovea Genetics





Dovea Genetics





Progressive Genetics





Progressive Genetics



Sunnyside Don


Dovea Genetics





Dovea Genetics





Eurogene / LIC





Eurogene / LIC





Eurogene / LIC





Eurogene / LIC


(Source of data: ICBF)

Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) 2015 - 2020

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are currently posting the application form for the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) 2015 - 2020 to herd owners. By entering into the programme farmers are committing to meet the requirements of the BDGP for a full six year period. The closing date for applications is 29 May 2015.

We would like to remind all keepers of MRI cows for suckling purposes, that - as a true dual purpose breed - the MRI are eligible for inclusion in the BDGP as well as all other beef payment schemes.

MRI cow with Limousin bull calf

Progressive Genetics’ MRI Sires 2015

Laurence Feeney, Marketing Manager for Progressive Genetics, has confirmed availability of semen from the following MRI sires:-

Laurence also confirmed that SiryX sexed semen from Dutch MRI sire Marcello is still available at a cost of €45 per straw. Due to the high cost and low usage of sexed semen Progressive Genetics do not carry stock of sexed Marcello semen. Progressive Genetics therefore require intended users to order some weeks in advance, to enable the company to import the semen.

For more information about SiryX sexed semen click here.

To arrange delivery of semen to your local A.I. technician or your own flask, please phone Progressive Genetics on 01 4080743.

Dovea Genetics’ MRI Sires 2015

Pat O'Connor of Dovea last week confirmed availability of semen from the following MRI sires:-

Please note that there may be limited availability of some of the sires listed above!

To arrange delivery of semen to your local A.I. technician or your own flask, please phone Dovea Genetics on 0504 21755.

Damian DN available from Dovea Genetics

Dovea Genetics of Thurles, Co. Tipperary are introducing straws from Dutch MRI bull "Damian DN" for the 2015 spring A.I. season.

Born in Holland in 2007, this Duisenberg x Guido bull's bloodlines may suit many Irish breeders. Damian is classified 100% pedigree MRI, and at time of writing, the following production values apply: Irish EBI 152 (Milk 49); Dutch NVI 162 (Milk 197); German RZG 119 (Milk 121).

According to the German RSH (Rinderzucht Schleswig-Holstein), Damian DN daughters have proven to be well built, with a wide pelvis and sound, well positioned feet and legs. In Germany and Holland, Damian DN is considered easy calving and suitable for heifers. His Dutch ratings for somatic cell count are excellent, no doubt aided by his daughters lengthy teats, however, teat placement is not always ideal. The RSH suggests to pay attention to the udders' comparatively weak central ligament and the slightly low rear udder height.

Official breeding values show Damian DN's daughters to be blessed with immense longevity in Dutch dairy herds, the rating of 251 vastly surpassing the advised average value of 100.

ICBF has issued Damian DN with A.I. code S2301, and any enquiries and orders should be addressed to your local Dovea area representative or their head office (ph. 0504 21755).