NI farmer watching Open golf with his cows goes viral

A County Antrim farmer has gone viral on the internet as he sat in his field watching the Irish Open golf championships surrounded by his cattle.

Photos and video footage of Billy O’Kane were streamed across the world on Saturday (26 September) as the beef farmer took in all the action from the event, a safe distance away on his own land.

See also: Farmer told to pay £5,000 after sheep drown in golfing lake

The public had been banned from attending the Irish Open golf championships at Galgorm Castle in Ballymena, due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

But that didn’t stop Mr O’Kane unfolding his deckchair and pouring a cup of tea on Saturday.

As media cameras covering the event focused on the farmer enjoying his beverage surrounded by his cattle, Mr O’Kane seemed oblivious to all the attention he was receiving.

“It probably was the only legal seat to watch the championships,” he said.

“We have land adjacent to the golf course and I was out checking the heifers on Saturday. I had some free time and decided to unfold the deckchair and enjoy the view.

“I probably sat there for around one hour surrounded by the cattle who seemed to enjoy the game as well,” he said.

Mr O’Kane said he only found out about his online fame when his brother and children started sending him messages.

“They said the TV commentators were talking about me and that my photo was all over Twitter.”

Mr O’Kane is also a fully trained vet and worked in the famous Skeldale Veterinary Centre, based in the market town of Thirsk in North Yorkshire, which is the original James Herriot practice.

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