New Holland recently held its dealer award ceremonies, at which the efforts and achievements of its agents in the Republic of Ireland and the UK were recognised.

The awards were presented by vice-president of New Holland Europe, Sean Lennon and New Holland business director UK and ROI, David Rapkins.

The ROI awards meeting and dinner was held at the Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort, Co. Kildare, where David Rapkins presented the awards.

The dealer of the year in Ireland was awarded to M & S Machinery of Cashel, Co. Tipperary. The company also picked up the overall award for Construction Equipment Dealer of the Year which covers both the ROI and the UK.

For the UK, the dealer of the year award went to Russells Ltd., a multi-depot franchise operating throughout the north of England.

Long-term New Holland dealer

M & S Machinery was formed by Tom Meehan and Pat Slattery of Ballylooby, Co. Tipperary.

Although they had known each other since their schooldays, they only came together as business partners in the early 1980s, renting a shed in Ballylooby to repair machinery for local farmers.

The first franchise the partners picked up was SAME, which propelled them into the retail side of the machinery business.

This was followed by Ursus, and the two brands ran alongside each other until 1988, when they were approached by Fiat tractors.

Four years later, Ford decided to divest itself of its tractor business with Fiat taking an 80% share, leaving many Fiat and Ford dealers wondering where they stood, as it was obvious that some consolidation of the dealer network would be taking place.

M & S Machinery survived the shake-up, and in 1995 purchased its current premises in Cashel, taking on New Holland Construction Equipment the following year, which expanded both its turnover and customer base.