One of Europe’s most Renowned Potato Breeders Recognised
Harry Kehoe, the retired Potato Breeder from Teagasc, Oak Park, was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science, in recognition of his lifetime’s work as a Plant Breeder. The conferring took place in UCD, on Monday 5th September 2016.
Rooster was one of more than 35 potato varieties bred by Harry Kehoe and his team at Teagasc, Oak Park,Carlow (formerly AFT). Since its launch in 1991 Rooster has become the dominant potato in the Irish market accounting for 60% of the market.
Cara has been the most successful potato variety bred in Oak Park to date, and almost 40 years after its release is still being grown in markets as diverse as the United Kingdom, Egypt and the Canary Islands. Cara was notable as one of the first successful varieties with resistance to the Globodera rostochiensis strain of Potato Cyst Nematode.
Harry Kehoe commenced with An Foras Taluntais,(AFT) now Teagasc, in 1960 and retired in 2003. He led the breeding programme for over 40 years and is described in the Teagasc book Growing Knowledge – Fifty Years of Research and Development as “one of Europe’s most renowned potato breeders”. Throughout his career Harry worked closely with IPM Potato Group Ltd, and many varieties released during his tenure continue to grow and be successfully marketed in over forty countries worldwide.
He was Oak Park’s most successful potato breeder and ranks up with the great international names in potato breeding like Archibald Finley (1841-1921), Donald McKelvie (1867-1947), Dr. William Black (1903-1975), Dr Harold Howard, John Clarke, (1889- 1980) and Dr Brian Costello.
Given the importance of the potato in global food production, as the fourth major food crop in the world after wheat, rice and maize, Harry Kehoe’s achievements are leaving a lasting legacy around the globe.