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The first historical General Meeting was held on 13 March 1925.  The meeting was well attended and the first committee was elected.

An immediate decision was taken to build a Creamery.  A plot of ground was purchased from John Giles, for which he got 10 £1 shares.  An overdraft of £2,000 was raised with the Bank of Ireland Clonakilty for which each committee member had to become a guarantor.  The IAOS was contacted and with their help a Book of Rules was drafted for the guidance of the committee.

The objectives of the Society were set out as follows:

  1. To develop and improve the industry of agriculture by the introduction of improved methods, including the manufacture and sale of butter and other milk and farm products.
  2. To buy, sell and deal generally, wholesale and retail, in live and dead farming stock and produce, including fish, and in all kinds of agricultural products, seeds, manures, implements, machinery and general requisites.
  3. To lease, purchase, hold, sell, rent, manage and develop, and otherwise deal with, land for farming or other purposes and to make all necessary provisions for the erection repair, alteration or removal of all buildings, wall, fences and so forth, and to carry out any work in connection with road making.
  4. To hire or supply labour for the carrying out of agricultural or other work.
  5. To provide for the housing of members and others.
  6. To make arrangements with persons engaged in any trade, business or profession, for concessions to members of the Society of any special rights, privileges and advantages, in particular to the supply of goods.
  7. To advance or lend any of the capital or other monies of the Society, on satisfactory security, to members or others.
  8. To promote and encourage insurance by members in respect of accidents or injuries, malicious or accidental, to employees or to the property of members of the Society.

Membership rules stated that “The Society shall consist of members within a radius of 6 miles from Kilrovane Bridge, near Lisavaird.  Applicants for membership shall pay an entrance fee of one shilling and subscribe for such number of shares in the Society as the Committee may in each case prescribe.  No person carrying on any business similar to what the Society is engaged in shall be eligible to become, or continue, as a member of the Society”.  This is a very short extract from the Book of Rules which ran to over 40 pages, mainly dealing with meetings, voting, appointments, etc.

The first branch was built in Ardfield in 1927, followed by Ballycummer in 1928.  Carhuvouler was purchased in 1929, Clonakilty and Rosscarbery branches were acquired on July 1, 1929, Reenascreena in 1931, Union Hall and Glandore in 1936 and Manch Branch was built in 1939.

In 1932, the Co-op entered into store trading and was gradually extended to all branches.  In 1940 a forge was erected for the benefit of local farmers and in the same year an incubator, capable of hatching 2600 eggs, was installed.  The incubator was worked with paraffin oil and was one of the first of its kind in the country.  In 1952 the Co-op obtained a licence and commenced the manufacture of feed for pigs, cattle and poultry.

In 1965, in conjunction with Barryroe, Bandon, Drinagh, Dairy Disposal Aughadown and Carrigaline Co-op, a federation called Carbery Creameries was formed.  The immediate task was to set up a cheese factory and the first milk delivered to the factory in 1966 came from Lisavaird. 

In 1971 the Co-op purchased a farm at Kippagh, near Reenascreena, and a pig unit was erected.  By 1973 3200 pigs were in place for fattening.  A Dairy Unit was also set up and 80 top-class heifers were purchased in Northern Ireland.  In 1989 a further farm was purchased at Derryduff, near Lisavaird, and a pig unit to carry 200 sows was built.  In 1994 the unit at Kippagh was remodelled and converted to a unit for 550 sows due to the drop in the supply of weaners.

Also in 1989 Lisavaird Co-op, along with Barryroe and Bandon co-ops, purchased the liquid milk plant Strand Dairy, now Clona Dairy Products Ltd, in Clonakilty.

Inevitably the progress of time brought changes.  With refrigerated bulk tanks on farms taking the place of churns, rationalisations had to take place.  The first branch to be closed was Carhuvouler in 1988 followed in 1990 by Clonakilty and Glandore.  On 29 November 2000 Lisavaird Co-op ceased its butter making operation after 75 years of production.  All milk from the four West cork Co-ops is now processed at Carbery Milk Products in Ballineen.

Food Division


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