Supporting Local News


Connemara farmers fleeced on wool prices

Connemara sheep farmers are getting fleeced on wool prices – with a kilo fetching just one quarter of the going rate on the other side of the county.

Not that farmers in East Galway are getting rich from wool sale either; because while a kilo of wool from the hills of Connemara is worth a paltry five cents, even the 20 cents paid for the lowland wool in the premier farm fields is a poor return.

It doesn’t pay the cost of shearing the sheep.

Michael Haverty, the manager of Connacht Wool in Tuam, remembers stories in the east of the county about farmers who saved the wool money for two or three years and bought a tractor.

Now, the new world of synthetic clothing has changed all of that – but still, the softer and more pliable wool from lowland sheep will give a better return.

“You can only use the mountain wool for products like carpets and the demand has dropped in recent years,” he says.

John Staunton, an agricultural advisor from Connemara, puts it down to the breed.

“The wool from east Galway and the lowlands sheep was always more valuable on the markets,” he says.

“The black-faced sheep can live on the mountain and tolerate the harsh climate and limited grazing on the hills.  But their genetics mean that they do not produce the fine fleeces; it is a coarse and rugged coat that does not translate well into fine clothing”.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up