L-R: John Osborne (HRI and IEC Board); Councillor Bill Clear Mayor of Naas; Minister Martin Heydon; Guillaume Fortier CEO LABÉO, Debbie Grey CEO IEC; Cathaoirleach of Kildare Daragh Fitzpatrick

On Wednesday, 17th April 2024 the Irish Equine Centre (IEC) and LABÉO celebrated their commercial twinning with a lunch held at the IEC. Honoured guests included Minster Martin Heydon, Minister of State at the Dept of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Cathaoirleach of Kildare Daragh Fitzpatrick, Mayor of Naas Councillor Bill Clear and Gaultier Brand-Gazeau from the French Embassy in Dublin.

The signing of this understanding has been long in the making as the IEC and LABÉO have worked together on numerous projects and research papers and continued inter-laboratory comparisons, particularly in the virology and clinical pathology disciplines.

The LABÉO Animal Health Unit is based in Saint Contest, Normandy which is twinned with Kilcullen, Kildare. It offers services to breeders, veterinarians and individuals, mainly focused on equine and bovine species.


LABÉO’s objectives closely match those of the IEC’s as it provides professionals and individuals, amateurs, veterinarians, breeders, riders, industrialists and health authorities with the most efficient diagnostic tools possible and these focus on continuous improvement, research and development.

L-R: Alan Creighton, Stéphane Pronost, James Gibbons, Ann Cullinane, Des Leadon, Debbie Grey, Guillaume Fortier, Elise Oden, Christine Fortier


The ties between Irish and French bloodstock, breeding and racing are ever increasing and thus we are delighted to have a formal acknowledgement of this by both parties. Both organisations agree that the efficacy of twinning relies on the human relationships, and we have therefore fostered an open working relationship that is based on exploring new ideas, approaching science and practice with curiosity and embracing the spirit of collaboration which has practical benefits to both our national and pan-European horse industries;




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