The Galway Sheep Breeders’ Association hosted their centenary show and sale at Athenry Mart on Monday, September 19th, 2022. Judge Carmel Greene reviewed three female classes – Breeding Ewes, Ewe Hoggets and Ewe Lambs and two male classes – Hogget Rams and Ram Lambs.
The breed can trace its origin to the Age of Improvement in Irish Agriculture (c. 1750-1815) when Leicester type rams were introduced to improve the native sheep. The association was formed in 1922 with some of the traditional flocks tracing their origins to Pre-Famine times.
With a surging interest in dual purpose sheep, there was a strong entry of 100 females and 26 males. All records were broken with hogget ewes ranging from €300-400, ewe lambs €200-510 and ram lambs €180-820 and hogget rams €340-1680.
The Galway Wool Coop has helped foster a resurgence in the breed. As Ireland’s only native sheep breed, the sheep are eligible for payments under the GLAS scheme subject to certain conditions. It has also been established that the Galways will be included in the upcoming agri-environmental scheme (ACRES) operated by DAFM.