ABOUT WESTERN VETERINARY
Western Veterinary is a family run business and we are dedicated to providing the care and attention to your animals as if they were a member of our family. Whether you are living in Connemara, or just visiting, we can offer you a friendly place to come for advice, pet supplies or veterinary attention. Western Veterinary was established in 1944/45 by Peadar O’Scanaill and remained a family business (known as West Vet) until 2009 when Peadar’s son Maurice retired as the local vet. In November 2016, husband and wife, Francois and Niamh Walch took over the practice and have been helping the business to grow within the community.We are a mixed animal practice that caters for all creatures great and small and we provide cover for the whole of Connemara. Our small animal services are developing each year as we invest in top of the range equipment to offer the best and safest methods for diagnostics and surgery. We have invested in facilities for equine and large animal handling with big plans to grow this side of the business in the near future. If you would like to find out more about Western Veterinary, our facilities or to book an appointment, please phone 095 22209 and a member of our team will be happy to help.
Our veterinary surgeons each bring their own unique set of veterinary skills, background and experience to their roles and this enables Western Veterinary to provide a broad range of veterinary services across small and large animals as well as to equine.
Niamh Walch BSc DVM
Although living in Dublin as a child, Niamh spent most of her time in a riding school and stables in Co. Kildare. Niamh’s passion for animals developed from her love of horses. Horse riding from an early age, Niamh had a successful career in 3-day eventing. After school Niamh attended UCD and graduated with BSc (hons) Zoology before deciding to pursue a career in Veterinary medicine. Niamh moved to Hungary and graduated from Budapest in 2008 with DVM. On returning home to Ireland, Niamh worked in Kerry with an equine and small animal practice for a number of years before moving to the east coast. There she joined the Pet Emergency Hospital in University College Dublin. Niamh and Francois purchased Western Veterinary and made the move to the Clifden in November 2016. They have two small children who are often seen ‘helping out’ in the clinic at the weekends, and who are developing a familial love of animals. Niamh is passionate about equine work and small animals equally. Her special interests are equine reproduction and small animal surgery, and she loves to work with wildlife. Outside the clinic, Niamh continues to enjoy horse-riding, swimming and being a chauffeur to two very busy young boys!
Francois Walch DVM
Francois comes from a long line of vets; his father, grandfather, and great grandfather before him were vets in Alsace, France, where Francois is from. Francois followed his family footsteps and studied Veterinary Medicine in Budapest, where he graducated in 2006. After he met Niamh at the University, he decided to move to Ireland to start his first job. Francois started in Ballina, Co. Mayo and for several years after that he worked as a locum vet for mixed animal practices in the West of Ireland. He worked at Western Veterinary for a season when it was under the ownership of Maurice O’Scanaill and fell in love with the Connemara people and landscape. Niamh and Francois started a family and after a brief move to the East coast in 2012 when Francois worked in Wicklow and Wexford, they returned to Connemara in 2016. Francois has a keen interest in sheep medicine, bovine reproduction and small animal surgery. He loves the outdoors and when he is not in the surgery or driving around the local farms he can be found at his home gardening, carrying out DIY projects or anything to do with food! Niamh and Francois have several adopted pets; dogs, cats and ponies.
Margaret Connolly BSc BVSC
Margaret grew up on a dairy and poultry farm in Co. Monaghan, and it was her love of farming that attracted her to work with animals. Margaret’s first degree in medical laboratory science led to a job working for Norbrook in Newry, Co. Down. She decided to move to Liverpool to study Veterinary Medicine and Margaret qualified as a vet in 2004. She has always worked in mixed practice, starting out in Cavan she made her way to the West and has worked in Galway ever since. Margaret joined the team in West Vet in 2013 and has been with the practice ever since. Margaret is passionate about farming and lives on a farm near Oughterard with her husband. Together they run a suckler and sheep farm which gives her a good perspective of the worries and problems that our farmers encounter daily. Margaret has a beautiful collie called Glen that she wouldn’t be without.
Barbara Ward RVN
Barbara is a native of Clifden, and graduated RVN from Athlone Institute of Technology in 2015. After spending some of her college placement at West Vet, Barbara returned to join the team in 2016. Barbara is hugely dedicated to her job and she leaves no stone unturned. Barbara is known for her kindness, and sense of humour. She is often to be found in the kennels, talking to the patients like they are her babies! Barbara is responsible for all nursing duties and nursing clinics. She has special interest in nutrition, weight management and environmental enrichment for pets. Barbara is horse mad and has always loved working with horses. In her spare time she enjoys every chance to go horse riding, yoga, cooking and spending time near the sea with her three dogs, Cody, Lily and Ziggy
Sylvia Staunton RVN
Sylvia is the longest standing member of the team at Western Veterinary. Sylvia has been working at the practice since 2004, and qualifed as a Registered Veterinary Nurse from UCD in 2008. Sylvia is responsible for organising the annual TB herd test (and all of the clerical work that this entails) for our farm clients. This is no mean feat and Sylvia takes everything in her stride. When not organising herd tests, she assists with nursing and reception duties. Sylvia has been with Western Veterinary under three different owners, and one thing is for certain, the farmers have the highest regard for her and are always happy to see her. Sylvia has farming in her blood and when not working on the family farm with Connemara ponies, sheep and cattle she spends time with her young family, as well as dog Glen and cat Missy.
Nollaig Ruddy BSc
Nollaig is the practice administrator of Western Veterinary. She is a qualified marine biologist and is passionate about all animals and marine life. Nollaig has been working at Western Veterinary since 2011 and coordinates the vets and appointments on a daily basis. Alongside this she manages the retail side of the business; stock, accounts and general queries. She is the welcoming face that will greet you at our reception, and an indispensable member of the team. Whether you are looking for a dog collar, dosing for cattle or just friendly advice, Nollaig will help you out! Nollaig enjoys everything to do with the sea, and can often be found surfing or sailing. She has two dogs, Frank and Louis that work in reception with her!
OUR CLIENTS SAY
Western Veterinary is a family run business and we are dedicated to providing the care and attention to your animals as if they were a member of our own family. And so we are always delighted when our customers let us know how much they appreciate the efforts we make when providing that veterinary care.
“The service at this vets is by far the most professional and caring for both worried owners and furry friends that anyone could hope for! Thanks to Niamh, Silvia and Nollaig for everything”
“They are so lovely and very understanding both with pets and owners. and if you don’t understand something or dose they will tell you in a way you will understand truly lovely people and all who work there.”
“Excellent, kind and efficient when our two dogs needed urgent care on holiday in Clifden over Christmas, much appreciated Niamh. Thank-you”