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Plunkett Award goes to Ted Hunt

Ted Hunt (Golden Vale Marts) has been recognised nationally with the co-operative industry’s highest national honour - The Plunkett Award for Co-operative Endeavour, named after Sir Horace Plunkett, founder of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society. Fennell Photography 2023

An exceptional, lifelong contribution to the Irish co-operative movement by Ted Hunt (Golden Vale Marts) has been recognised nationally with the co-operative industry’s highest national honour – The Plunkett Award for Co-operative Endeavour, named after Sir Horace Plunkett, founder of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society.

CHAMPION OF CO-OPERATION Ted Hunt, (Golden Vale Marts), Athea, Co. Limerick, receives the Plunkett Award from Edward Carr, President of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) and CEO TJ Flanagan (on right).

Mr. Hunt, a highly popular and well-known farmer from Athea, Co. Limerick, received the honour at a special ceremony in ICOS’ headquarters, The Plunkett House in Dublin, also attended by his family, marking a lifetime’s contribution to the co-operative movement and to his local Golden Vale Mart Co-operative Society where he was first elected onto its committee in 1974, serving with distinction in the intervening years.

Edward Carr, President of ICOS said,  “Ted Hunt stands as a pivotal and influential figure within Golden Vale Marts, epitomising the finest qualities of personal commitment to co-operative principles – striving for better farming, better business and better living for everyone through joint endeavours. His life and professional journey have been marked by the development of exceptional farm management skills and knowledge, coupled with personal drive and creativity, which he has effectively utilised for the advancement of Golden Vale Marts and its members over the decades. His remarkable selflessness in his contribution to the co-operative sector has significantly improved agriculture, his local community, region and country. It’s a privilege for us to acknowledge his contributions by awarding him this esteemed national accolade.”

Born in 1935, Ted Hunt followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps into the Athea Co-op Creamery Committee in 1972. Athea Co-op Creamery along with nine Kerry creameries joined together to form a federation of co-ops which was the forerunner to Kerry Co-op Creameries. Mr. Hunt was subsequently elected to the first Board of Kerry Co-op Creameries in 1974.

Ted Hunt has always been known for working locally for the good of the community. In 1958, along with others he set up a branch of Macra na Feirme, progressing from there to join the IFA, where he went on to become vice-chair of the Limerick County executive. He was present in the mid-sixties in the National Stadium in Dublin as one of the original shareholders for the establishment of the FBD Insurance company.

In 1964, he organised 36 of his neighbours to form one of the first group water schemes in Ireland, which he ran for 20 years before it was taken over by Limerick County Council.

Mr. Hunt joined the Committee of Golden Vale Marts, Abbeyfeale, in 1974 when it opened, going on to become Chairman. He was elected to the Board of Management of Golden Vale Marts, going on to become group Chair from 1989 to 1992 and also from 1996 to 1999. Through this role, he was nominated to the ICOS Marts Committee (1990 – 2001) going on to become Chairman and was subsequently also elected to the Board of ICOS.

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