Tánaiste launches agricultural research collaboration in Cork

3 July 2023

Tánaiste Micheál Martin has officially launched a new research collaboration in Co. Cork between Munster Agricultural Society (MAS) and University College Cork (UCC).

The arrangement will allow for the development of a farmland biodiversity education and research programme within agricultural science at UCC.

The objective of the programme, in conjunction with the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), is to develop and deliver a comprehensive programme of farmland biodiversity education, demonstration, research and extension initiatives.


The collaboration will involve MAS loaning a 2ac research site to UCC for plot-based research in soil and grassland science.

The site will provide capacity for research to “support the future sustainability and competitiveness of Irish pasture-based farming”.

The society will also provide a philanthropic gift of €375,000 to the Cork University Foundation.

At the official opening of the Cork Summer Show 2023, Tánaiste Micheál Martin praised the “continued legacy of strategic collaboration between UCC and the Munster Agricultural Society”.

He said that this is “testament to the aligned objectives of the two organisations, the vital contribution played by agriculture to the region, and recognition that ‘productive competitive farming’ must be supported to prosper in harmony with nature”.

“Ireland’s sustainable agricultural practices play a pivotal role in the Irish economy.

“This partnership will allow Ireland to continue to lead in terms of agricultural innovation, education and research for generations to come,” the Tánaiste added.


Prof. Frank Buckley, professor of agricultural science and head of discipline of agricultural science degree at UCC said:

“We are grateful for MAS’s support which will allow us to develop an exciting and much needed Farmland Biodiversity programme within Agricultural Science at UCC.

“It will also allow us to strengthen the delivery of our undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and cutting-edge research activity that will support the future sustainability of Irish grassland agriculture.

“MAS’s support will accelerate our potential to build critical mass, collaborate nationally and internationally, and leverage significant external funding, for which we are very grateful,” he said.

Robert Harkin, president of the Munster Agricultural Society, said that the society, established in 1805, is “acutely aware” of the challenges facing the Irish farming sector.

“One of the primary aims of MAS is to support the sustainable development of agriculture in the region,” he said.