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Team Ireland Butchers sponsored by Crossgar firm Prep House are hoping for a major international success in the US in 2020.

As the reigning World Champions, Team Ireland’s butchery team has just been revealed. Selected from the best butchers across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, the nine-strong team will compete at the next World Butchery Challenge which is taking place in Sacramento, California in 2020.

Led by Team Captain, Keith Walsh, from Eddie Walsh & Sons Butchers in Donegal, Team Ireland includes seven other butchers from all over Ireland, with the addition of Conor Reynolds, who recently won gold at the International Young Butcher competition in Perth and will represent the team in the Young Butcher category from M & W Farm Meats, Portadown, Co. Armagh.

Team Ireland Butchers with Pamela Ballantine (TV presenter), Barry Fitzpatrick, (Operations Manager, Prep House), and Rhonda Montgomery, Butchery Excellence International Chief Executive).

Supported by Crossgar-based firm Prep House, Barry Fitzpatrick (Operations Manager), said: “We have a skilled and first-class meat and butchery industry here in Ireland and we are honoured to support a team that will further promote Ireland’s reputation on a world-stage.”

The all-Irish team were successful in 2018 and hope to once again bring home the silver. And part of that team will be master butcher from Newry, Bryan McNamee from B & M Meats.

Team captain Keith Walsh said: “Our win in 2018 was incredibly tough as the competition from across the world is extremely high, and our win was hard fought, but we don’t intend on giving up our crown. For the next 12 months, the team and I are focused on ensuring Team Ireland remains the Best Butchers in the World.”

Team Ireland Manager and CEO of Butchery Excellence International, Rhonda Montgomery adds: “The high level of butchery skills displayed by Team Ireland in the World Butchery Challenge 2018 was world class. Our 2020 Team Ireland is supported by local companies including Dunbia, Dawn Meats, Prep House and PJD Safety Supplies, and their support is instrumental in helping us to send Team Ireland to the US to compete on a world-stage and showcase our skills and craftsmanship. 

Team Ireland is set to demonstrate how the win in 2018 – the first year that Team Ireland competed – wasn’t down to the ‘luck of the Irish’ – but that it was a true reflection of the level of skill of the butchers in NI and Ireland.

For the next 16 months, Team Ireland will be in-training for the World Butchery Challenge, which is taking place in September 2020, meeting for full day training sessions at locations across Ireland. 

The World Butchers Challenge 2020 will take place in Sacramento, California, USA with over 12 teams from around the globe expected to take part. To follow Team Ireland’s journey, see: www.Facebook.com/ButcheryExcellenceInternational