A HUGE crowd attended the funeral at The Heath on Monday (July 2) of Richard Booth, one of the country’s best known farmers, and a prominent member of the IFA.
Mr Booth, who farmed on The Heath in partnership with his brother Gerard, died suddenly at his home last Friday, June 29. Widespread shock greeted the news, amongst the farming community and beyond.
A leading member of the IFA for many years, he was a former chairman of both the IFA’s National Livestock Committee 2002-2006, and the EU Beef Advisory Committee. He sat on many national boards, including the Teagasc advisory board, and Bord Bia’s meat and livestock board. He also served as Laois IFA county secretary.
Mr Booth specialised in beef and tillage, and contributed frequently to the Irish Farmers Journal on beef issues. His reputation as a progressive farmer was well established, and he was regarded as being very generous with his advice and knowledge of the meat sector.
Paying tribute, Laois IFA Chairman, Pat Hennessy described Mr Booth as “stalwart” of the association. IFA President, John Bryan said that he was a fearless representative of farmers who negotiated on their behalf during the MacSharry reforms for the CAP and GATT talks. An IFA guard of honour was one of many at his funeral last Monday.
Mr Booth was also an active member of the The Heath GAA club, and was a keen football and rugby enthusiast.
He is survived by his wife Mary, family Richard, Ailbhe, Anna and Ellen, his brothers Gerard, Sean and Paul, sisters Catherine and Geraldine, large extended family, relatives and friends.
Reposing was at his home on The Heath on Sunday, followed by removal on Monday to the Church of the Assumption, The Heath for Requiem Mass at 2pm. Burial took place afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.