Harry Spain was a prominent figure in Irish agriculture from 1948 until his retirement as deputy secretary of the Department of Agriculture in 1978.
He devised the Parish Plan which involved assigning an agent, employed by the Department, to every three parishes. The concept was enthusiastically supported by Minister for Agriculture James Dillon, who appointed the first parish agent in Bansha, Co Tipperary, in 1948. It was strongly opposed by the Agricultural Science Association and Macra na Feirme. Harry was a founding member of Macra and later, a president of the Agricultural Science Association.
Harry Spain was also the chief architect of the National Agricultural Authority (NAA), the first attempt to merge the agricultural research and advisory services into a single national body. A close associate of another former IGA president, former UCD Professor JB Ruane, Harry Spain was an external examiner in the UCD Faculty of Agriculture for many decades.Back to Listing