Arva mourns death of pioneering veterinary surgeon Des Mills

Late Desmond (Robert) Mills, Dublin / Arva, Cavan

Barney Cully


Barney Cully


Arva mourns death of pioneering veterinary surgeon Des Mills

Arva mourns death of pioneering veterinary surgeon Des Mills

It is with regret that we record the sad passing of Mr Desmond Robert Mills MRCVS, retired Veterinary Surgeon, which occurred peacefully on Wednesday, January 8, following a long illness bravely borne.

Originally from Arva, Des (born in 1928) was the fifth of six children to the late William and Frances Mills, and was predeceased by his siblings Reggie, Betha (Stephens), Ivor and Ken, and is survived by his youngest brother Tennyson.

Des and his late wife Iris also had four children; Janice, Garth, John and Alan, and were blessed with six grandchildren.

Des excelled at school, and attended King's Hospital School in Dublin from where he gained entry to the faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Trinity College, Dublin at a young age, graduating as a veterinary surgeon in 1952.

Following a spell with local vet, Paddy Power in Arva, Des and his young wife subsequently immigrated to Canada in 1954, and returned to Ireland nine years later with four children.

Over the next 50 years, Des developed his career as a consultant in animal nutrition and herd health, becoming one of the leading experts in both the pig and poultry industries in Ireland.

He pioneered minimal disease intensive farm practices in Ireland through the selection of high-health, top quality genetic stock and the promotion of minimal disease intensive production practices. He was held in very high regard by his peers, colleagues and clients, not to mention his many good friends and all his family.

Des was fondly remembered as a man who always had plenty of time for anyone who needed his help and advice, which was always available in abundance, at any time and on any day.

As the years caught up on him, and as he began to step back from work, he enjoyed pursuing his own leisure pastimes such as gardening, golf (less frequently as time went on) but most of all, his family, especially his grandchildren Graham, Conor, Laura, Nick, Aisling and Sarah. 

He was predeceased by his wife Iris, sister Mrs Betha Stephens, Brucehall, Arva, brothers Reggie, Ivor, and Ken and is survived by his daughter Janice, sons Garth, John, Alan, brother Tennyson, Drumlarney, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, sister in law, relatives and many friends to all of whom we extend sincere sympathy.

Following Funeral Service in Rathfarnham Parish Church on Monday, January 13, cremation took place in Newlands Cross Crematorium.