Modern Jenny is possibly the only goat in Ireland milked daily by a machine.
Originally from Cork, farmer Liam O'Donnell lives in Beverly Hills House in Hazelwood, County Sligo. On his farm situated in the shadow of Ben Bulben he keeps a herd of six cows, some chickens and three goats. One of his goats, six year old Modern Jenny, is his most prized possession.
Liam O’Donnell’s 17 year old daughter Paula is a budding singer songwriter preparing for her Leaving Certificate at Sligo Post Primary School, Ballinode. In 1981 Paula O’Donnell won second place overall at the second Ballina International Amateur Song Contest. She was also awarded the best female vocalist of the week prize.
Since she was a baby Paula O’Donnell has been asthmatic. During one of her periods of hospitalisation a doctor recommended she drink goat’s milk.
Liam O’Donnell bought Modern Jenny to have a regular supply of goat’s milk for his daughter. As an experiment he tried milking Modern Jenny with the milking machine he uses for his cows. After a few failed attempts the goat got the hang of the milking machine.
I called her Jenny but then when I put the milking machine on I decided, this is modernisation, I called her Modern Jenny.
Now when the cows come to the milking parlour, Modern Jenny waits for her turn with the milking machine. Modern Jenny has a gentle disposition,
There’s something very timid and nice about her.
Liam O’Donnell plans to bring Modern Jenny into the sitting room so she can watch herself on television.
I think the goat has nearly more sense than myself.
He hopes fame will improve Modern Jenny's milk supply rather than give her an inflated ego.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 May 1982. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.