Forum on hill sheep in Maam

Kieran McDonagh, Sonny Jennings, Barry Stephens, Peter McDonagh, Alan Daly and Barry Cunningham getting ready for the Connacht Sheep Shearing Championships in Corofin village next Sunday. PHOTO: JOHNNY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY.
Kieran McDonagh, Sonny Jennings, Barry Stephens, Peter McDonagh, Alan Daly and Barry Cunningham getting ready for the Connacht Sheep Shearing Championships in Corofin village next Sunday. PHOTO: JOHNNY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY.

A MAJOR forum in Connemara next week will aim to chart the path ahead for hill sheep farmers in the region, seeking to grow their enterprise over the coming years.

The IFA Hill Sheep Forum will kick-off with a visit on Tuesday next, May 23, at 3pm to the farm of Cailin Conneely, Letterdyfe, Roundstone, followed by a meeting in Peacockes of Maam Cross, to be addressed by a number of high profile speakers.

National IFA President, Joe Healy, said that the forum would provide hill sheep farmers with a great opportunity to get the latest updates across a broad range of issues impacting on their enterprises.

“The issues will range from commonage and GLAS policies to the latest on the production and marketing of hill lamb. We have organised a top class range of speakers for the event,” said Joe Healy.

Galway IFA Hill Representative, Eamonn Nee, told the Farming Tribune that one of the main aims of the forum was to chart the way ahead for hill farmers to ensure that it was viable for them to stay in the business.

“There really is a whole package of measures that must be in place to ensure that farming as a way of life survives in the hill areas.

“Thankfully, over recent years we have seen more young farmers get involved and that’s absolutely vital for the future of the sector,” said Eamonn Nee.

He said that over the high years, farming in the hill areas had paid a high price for the blanket designation of lands without adequate compensation being provided.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.