Irish vet celebrated at event in Galway

MEP Maria Walsh with renowned author and animal welfare expert Dr Temple Grandin and Dr Orla Flynn ATU. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

MEP Maria Walsh officially opened the two-day Aleen Cust Centenary Conference at Mountbellew Agricultural College this week.

The event celebrated the life of one of Ireland’s greatest unsung heroes and ensured that his hard work, sacrifice and determination will never be forgotten.

North West Midlands MEP Maria Walsh was in Mountbellew on Thursday to officially open the conference where she spoke about Aleen Cust, one of Ireland’s most inspiring pioneers.

Aleen Cust was the first female veterinary surgeon, admitted to the Register of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) in 1922, and is a prime example of a visionary in animal welfare, overcoming countless obstacles to pursue a profession to which she dedicated his life.

Opening the event at Mountbellew Agricultural College on Thursday, MEP Walsh spoke about gender equality and the journey Ireland has come as a country and a society over the past 100 years.

She noted that we have taken great steps towards equality since Cust was admitted to the RCVS in 1922.

“And for that, we owe a lot to leaders like Aleen Cust,” she said.

“Looking back on the life and times of Aleen Cust, MEP Walsh said we could all learn a lot from the Tipperary native, about overcoming adversity and chasing our dreams.

“If you have a passion for something, follow it. If it hasn’t been done before, be the first. When Aleen decided to become a veterinarian, there was no clear plan or path to follow.

“Her passion was her beacon and her strength to lead her into the unknown,” she told a captive audience.

The event included 16 lectures from academics, vets and historians, who examined the life, times, pioneering work and death of the Tipperary-born Anglo-Saxon aristocrat admitted to the College Register royal a hundred years ago.

The two-day conference was organized by heritage officers from County Galway, Roscommon and Tipperary Councils and the local Aleen Cust Memorial Society, supported by Atlantic TU.

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