They say necessity is the mother of invention and that statement certainly rings true in the case of one north Longford man who has created a business designing equipment which allows farmers to overcome practical problems.
Farming has always been in Vincent Kiernan’s blood, but it was his professional career which provided the Coolarty man with the know-how when it came to inventing the implements.
“I was raised on a farm, and I’ve been in engineering all my life; I’ve been manufacturing trailers for 40 years and I have my own workshop,” he explained. “About 25 or 26 years ago I bought my own farm, which my son Alan manages now.”
Vincent revealed his first invention resulted from an accident he had whilst working his farm.
“I ruptured a ligament in my finger while I was dosing cattle and I thought to myself, ‘there has to be a better way of doing this’.”
The result was the KO Doser, which Vincent patented and exhibited at the Tullamore Show four years ago.
“As well as making dosing easier, it prevents the animal from suffocating, so it removes the danger to man and beast,” he said, before adding: “It’s now licenced to Gibney Steel Products of Oldcastle, who manufacture it and distribute it nationwide. I also got great help from Michael Nevin at the Local Enterprise Office when I was starting out.”
Since then, Vincent has developed two more farmyard innovations: the KO Mover and the KO Caeserean Aid.
“The patent has just been approved for the KO Mover,” he revealed. “It brings the cattle into the head gate in the crush. At the moment I’m manufacturing it myself, and I won another place in the Inventions section at the National Ploughing Championships with it.”
The KO Caesaerean Aid will also be a welcome addition to farmyards.
“When a vet is performing a caesaerean section on a cow, it can lift the calf out of the calf bed and rotate it into an upside down position, then take it out to a neutral area so the vet can get to work stitching up the cow, while the farmer can look after the calf.”
Vincent, who lives with his wife Briege, son Alan, and daughters Lisa, Joanne, and Bernadette says the inspiration for his two latest products came from simply paying attention to his target market.
“I get the ideas from listening to what farmers want. It’s all about making life easier and making life safer.”