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McEntee Presents Irish Cheese Awards

"Cheese Brands Synonymous with good taste and High Quality"

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, has presented the Irish Cheese awards at the SHOP exhibition in the RDS in Dublin. The SHOP exhibition is a major trade event at which thousands of Irish buyers attend, looking for the latest products, including food products to enhance their retail or hospitality enterprises.

The growing success of the Irish cheese sector, has led to the establishment of a specific award, which includes categories for both small artisan producers and for larger commercial creameries, and recognises the critical role that both play in enhancing the reputation of the Irish food sector.

The Irish farmhouse cheese sector has experienced dramatic growth since its revival in the 1970's, and today there are more than fifty farmhouse cheese producers in Ireland producing more than 140 individual varieties of cheese.

Speaking at the event, Minister McEntee paid tribute to the drive and determination of all of those involved in the sector: "Food Harvest 2020 targets a 50% increase in growth in dairy production over the next decade. High quality cheese will be a critical component of the product mix for this expanded production and I want to compliment both our large dairy processors and our smaller artisan cheese producers for helping to raise the profile of Irish cheese and the Irish food sector generally through their effort and innovation over the years. Many of our cheese brands have become synonymous with good taste and high quality, and this is the space in which the Irish food sector needs to be."

With reference to the award winners, the Minister said: "I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all nominees and winners of these awards and in particular Marion Roeleveld from Killeen Farmhouse, Co. Galway who has been named Supreme Champion for her Killeen Goat Mature cheese. The farmhouse cheese sector is a perfect example of what can be achieved when small producers put their energy and imagination into developing their enterprises. The sector has been leading the way in terms of growth in the artisan food production sector.  It capitalises on the enthusiasm of individuals who turn their passion into smart business and is among the best examples of turning our best traditions into modern sustainable business propositions".

Concluding, the Minister thanked all the judges and participants for leading the way in the development of a positive brand image for Irish food.

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Left to right: Mr Kevin Sheridan, Sheridan's Cheesemongers, Mr Shane McEntee, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Marion Roeleveld from Killeen Farmhouse, Co. Galway who has been named Supreme Champion for her Killeen Goat Mature cheese

Note for editors:  Irish Cheese Awards Winners

Supreme Champion 2011: Killeen Goat Mature (Marion Roeleveld, Killeen Farmhouse, Co. Galway)

  Gold Silver Bronze
BLUE CHEESE: Blue veined cheeses from any milk Crozier Blue
J&L Grubb, Co. Tipperary
Bellingham Blue
Peter Thomas, Co. Louth
Cashel Blue
J&L Grubb, Co. Tipperary
SEMI-SOFT: Surface-washed, ripened cheeses from any milk Milleens Dote
Steele Family, Co. Cork
Giana Feguson, Co. Cork
Jeffa Gill, Co. Cork
BLOOMY RIND: White moulded cheeses, soft & semi soft from any milk   Gortnamona
Breda Maher, Co. Tipperary
Knockdrinna Snow
Helen Finnegan, Co. Kilkenny
HARD: Under 6 months hard & semi hard cheeses from any milk Burren Gold
Aillwee Cave, Co. Clare
St. Gall
Shinnicks, Fermoy, Co. Cork
Moonshine Emental
Mary Kelly / Marion Roeleveld
MATURE: Over 6 months hard & semi hard cheeses from any milk Glebe Brethan
David Tiernan, Co. Louth
Killeen Goat Mature
Marion Roeleveld, Co. Galway
Coolea Extra Mature
Willems Family, Co. Cork
SHEEPS MILK CHEESE Knockdrinna Meadow
Helen Finnegan, Co. Kilkenny
Crozier Blue
J&L Grubb, Co. Tipperary
GOATS MILK CHEESE Killeen Goat Mature
Marion Roeleveld, Co. Galway
Tom Biggane, Co. Cork
Killeen Goat Young
Marion Roeleveld, Co. Galway
FLAVOUR ADDED: from any milk   Killeen Cow Cumin
Marion Roeleveld, Co. Galway
Burren Gold Cumin~
Aillwee Cave, Co. Clare
NEW: Cheese on the market for less than 18 months Ardsallagh Cranberry
Jane Murphy, Co. Cork
Kilree (Knockdrinna)
Helen Finnegan, Co. Kilkenny
Boyne Valle Blue
Michael Finegan, Co. Meath
FRESH CHEESE From any milk   Buffalo Mozarella
Toonsbridge Dairy, Co. Cork
Yeats Organic Full Fat
Green Pastures, Co. Donegal
SMOKED CHEESE: From any milk Knockanore Smoked
Eamon Lonergan, Co. Waterford
Mature Gubbeen Smoked
Giana Ferguson, Co. Cork
Carrigaline Smoked
Pat O'Farrell, Co. Cork
Creamy Cheddar aged less than 9 months   Wexford Creamery Cheddar
Co. Wexford
Wexford Hard Cheese
Co. Wexford
CREAMERY MATURE CHEDDAR: Aged more than 9 months Extra Mature White
Newmarket Creamery, Cork
Wexford Mature
Co. Wexford
Mature White


Corleggy, Silke Croppe, Co. Cavan GOATS MILK CHEESE

Orchard Cottage Dairy Goat's Cheese GOATS MILK CHEESE

Tomato & Basil Probiotic, Old MacDonnells Farm FLAVOUR ADDED: from any milk

Tzatsiki, Old MacDonnells Farm FLAVOUR ADDED: from any milk

Herbs de Provence, Old MacDonnells Farm FLAVOUR ADDED: from any milk

Awards co-ordinated by Easy Fairs/Shop Expo in association with Sheridans, judged by independent panel of acknowledged industry experts.

2011 Judging Panel

Darina Allen

Eddie O’Neill

Monica Murphy

Peter Ward

Dan Fennelly

Marian Cahill

Date Released: 29 September 2011