A DARD officer who was most recently involved with the Countryside Management Branch in Fermanagh, has retired after serving for over 44 years.

Nicholas Coyle, from Newtownbutler, had a varied career with the Department of Agriculture working in various counties in a range of posts including AI, milk testing, mart duties, as a member of the ‘Ministry’ staff based in meat plants across the west and as a pig grader in the Unipork factories. He also served as Area Officer dealing with schemes including drainage and as a Farm Building Officer. He also spent a short time in the soil survey team and worked in connection with farm safety.

In 1996 Nicholas joined the newly formed Countryside Management Division, where he had responsibility for the delivery of agri-environment schemes in the Florencecourt,Lisnaskea and Brookeborough areas. He developed a keen interest in the restoration of traditional orchards and in moorland management.

At his retirement function recently in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Nicholas spoke of the change of focus in agriculture over the years and recounted his fond memories of working with Fermanagh farmers. Nicholas, who farms near Newtownbutler, said he is looking forward to spending more time on the family farm during his retirement.