Club Reports – West of Ireland 2019

West of Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club

 The West of Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeder’s Club continued to grow from strength to strength in 2019, with an increased membership and some great successes throughout the season.


The Club was well represented at the NSBA National Championships in Kilkenny where Gerry Killilea, Carragh Flock built on his success from 2018 achieving 3rd place in the Trimmed ewe Lamb class.


The Club enjoyed great success in the National Flock Competition with Garth Graham, Kirriemuir Flock receiving Certificates of Merit in The W E Lloyd Cup for his flock of 31 – 60 Ewes. He also received Certificates of Merit in Ewe Lamb Class, Flock of over 30 Ewes, and Stock Ram with Errigal Jack the Lad, in the South of Ireland Flock Competition. Congratulations also to Gerry Killilea, Carragh Flock  who took Reserve in the Ewe Lamb Class and who also received a Certificate of Merit in the Flock of over 30 Ewes.


The Sales season kicked off for the club in Blessington at the SOI Premier  Show & Sale where the Club was well represented by many of its members .Congratulations to  Kenneth Bailey, Lismurtagh Flock who won the Ewe Lamb Class and then went on to achieve Reserve Champion Female with his Ewe Lamb

 The Big Boy Ram Sale in Carrick-on-Shannon was a great success, with a strong representation of the Suffolk Breed by Club members where the Suffolk breed achieved the second highest price on the night.

This was followed by the clubs own Premier Sale in Roscommon with a large entry of superbly turned out sheep, ably judged by Seamas Browne, Errigal Flock. He was very impressed with the standard of sheep produced by the Club with Supreme Champion going to Canon Joe Delaney, Roscree Flock and Reserve Champion going to Kevin and Mattie Kelly, Summerhill Flock. Female Champion went to Garth Graham, Kirriemuir Flock with his Ewe Lamb.

Our Second sale took place in Athenry with another large entry and very successful sale. The Supreme Champion went to Michael & Marie Jennings, Ballygarris Flock and Reserve to James Cuffe, Inbhear Flock.

At our 3rd Club Show & Sale in Roscommon, Supreme Champion went to Michael & Marie Jannings, Ballygarris Flock with their Open Ram Lamb Winner. Reserve went to James Cuffe, Inbhear with his winner in the Novice Class.

The Club ended its Year with Club Flocks DeBurca, Carragh and Kirriemuir presenting superbly well turned out  females at the All Star Female Sale in Blessington in November .



CHAMPION :    Canon Joe Delaney  

RESERVE :          Mattie & Kevin Kelly 

EWE LAMB:            1. G. Graham,  2. G Killilea,  3. L. Higgins & D. Airlie

SHEARLING RAM:  1. P.Hillary

NOVICE RAM:        1. Canon J. Delaney,  2. G. Graham,  3. K. Bailey

RECORDED RAM:  1. G.Killilea,  2. T. Burke,  3. M&M Jennings

 OPEN RAM:            1. Canon J. Delaney,  2. M&K Kelly,  3. M&M Jennings

ATHENRY SHOW & SALE (Evening) – 20th Sept 2019

CHAMPION :    Michael & Marie Jennings

RESERVE:           James Cuffe

EWE LAMB:             1. G. Killilea,  2. G. Graham,  3. L. Higgins & D. Airlie,  4. P. Colleran

SHEARLING RAM:   1. G. Graham,  2. G. Graham

NOVICE RAM:          1. J. Cuffe,  2. M. McDonagh,  3. C. Hughes,  4. G. Graham

OPEN RAM:              1. M&M Jennings,  2. J. Cuffe,  3. M. McDonagh,  4. C. Hughes


CHAMPION:    Michael & Marie Jennings

Reserve       :    James Cuffe

 SHEARLING RAM :  1. E. Campbell,  2. G. Graham,  3. T. Burke

NOVICE RAM:          1. J. Cuffe,  2. G. Graham,  3. E&T McKeever

OPEN RAM:              1. M&M Jennings,   2. J. Cuffe,  3. G. Graham

As a Club, we are delighted with what has turned out to be one of our most successful years ever. We took part in the very successful Big Boys Ram sale for the first time ever. Clearance rates at our sales were some of the highest recorded within the club. Many of our members enjoyed successes at the many Agricultural Shows throughout the summer season, showcasing the Suffolk breed to an incredibly high standard. Many of our members were present on the Suffolk stand at the National Ploughing Championships, which played host to the largest ever recorded attendance.

The standard of breeding lines within the club continue to improve and the quality of stock being produced is a testament to the investment our breeders are putting into their bloodlines.

We would like to extend a huge Thankyou to anyone who supported the Club this year, including the Suffolk Sheep Society, Suffolk Council, all our buyers, sponsors and marts and last but not least, our Club members themselves whose hard work and dedication continues to improve the breed standard within the club and showcase the Suffolk Breed to its full potential.

Chairman : Garth Graham, Kirriemuir Flock

Secretary : Trevor Burke, DeBurca Flock

Treasurer : Marie Jennings, Ballygarris Flock

Club Reports – Eastern 2019

2019 was an unusual for all us breeders with the breakaway group setting up their own championships and sales.  As always our club members could be counted upon to help out at society events wherever required. Society Championships at Kilkenny saw several club members showing successfully with Colin Watchorn coming 2nd and 3rd in the novice ram lamb class and John Gahan coming 2nd with his ewe lamb in novice class.

Once again we gave a voucher to the Tullow Ewebreeders for €100 towards as ram at our club sales. This voucher was won by Peter Behan, Tinnahely Wicklow at the Ewe lamb pairs competition.

The Premier Sale in its new venue in Blessington saw several of our members both showing and selling well with Sean Durkin, John & Esther Gahan and J & J Corcoran all picking up Rosettes.

Our Premier Sale in Tullow was judged by Edward Jeffery from the Kilbeg Flock.  He award Champion sheep to Brain and Gus Doyle for a stylish rams by Cairness Liam.  This lamb had earlier won the Recorded Class. Reserve Champion went to John & Esther Gahan ram lamb by Glyde Rodeo .

Our Second Show and Sale was judged by Rodney Deacon.  Alan Stanley’s ram lamb by Clyde Daredevil first won the Recorded class and then went on to become Champion .Oliver Deane had the Reserve Champion with a lamb by Rookery Apollo who had earlier won the Open Class. The bidding was brisk for this sheep with the hammer coming down at €750 which was the highest price on the day.

There was considerable interest in our promotion for €50.00 Vouchers sponsored by Quinns of Baltinglass and farmers happily filled in their own selection of which sheep would be champion. 

Club Members were delighted with our Chairman Colin Watchorn winning the South of Ireland section of the Flock Competition. A wonderful day was enjoyed by all who attended Colin’s open day.

Club Reports – Donegal 2019

The clubs activities started in July with a most enjoyable trip to many of the leading flocks within the breed Ballynacannon ,Crewelands, Donrho and Limestone .Many thanks to all for their outstanding hospitality and the excellent display of sheep on offer.

Donegal continues to be a stronghold for Irish Suffolks and 2019 was no exception and we congratulate our club members on their success throughout the year.

A trio of breeders made the long journey south to the National Sheep Championships in Kilkenny. Seamus Browne, Richard Thompson and Ronan McLaughlin all had a successful trip,  with Richard Thompson winning the Novice Ram Lamb class and Ronan McLaughlin winning the Novice Ewe Lamb class.

Stirling Sale

Club members Andrew Wilson and Ronan McLaughlin had an extremely successful sale with Andrew’s pen of 6 lambs selling to a top of £21,000gns and achieving the top average of £12,232, whilst Ronan a first time exhibitor sold to a top of £4200gns.

Blessington Premier

Another successful sale for Donegal breeders, with Richard Wilson’s ram lamb winning the gigot class and then going on to take the overall Champion which sold for €2310 ,whilst Ronan McLaughlin’s strong ram lamb winning the Novice class and later sold for €2940 . Other leading prices from Donegal breeders include:

Darragh McMenamin €2730

Richard Wilson €2625

AJ &JA Lucas €2310

AJ &JA Lucas €2310

Raphoe Premier

Our Premier sale this year was judged this year by Mr Philip Gurney Oakbridge flock, and he chose a strong ram lamb from the Finn Vale flock of Messr’s Lucas as his Champion, with J A Doherty in Reserve. The pairs was won by J A Doherty. Leading prices on the night were J A Doherty €860, AJ &JA Lucas €650, €620 and PJ McMonagle €620.

Second Sale

Mr Patrick McVerry from Newry was our judge on the night, and he chose a strong ram lamb from Andrew Wilson as his Champion which later sold for €1450. Reserve Champion went to Robert Tait’s ram lamb. The pairs was won by Robert Tait . Other leading prices were €1320 for a strong ram lamb from the Wilsons, and JA Doherty received €910 for a January born ram lamb.

Third Sale

Lesley liggett from the Carony flock judged our third sale ,and his Champion on the night went to Tommy Cavanagh’s ram lamb, and in Reserve was Martin McDermott’s strong ram lamb. Leading prices on the night were €720-R Tait, €680- M McDermott, €650 -R Wilson.

Fourth Sale

Our last sale was judged by club member JJ Doherty, and he chose a January born lamb from Richard Wilson as his Champion, with Reserve going to Martin McDermotts ram lamb. Leading prices on the night were €520- M McDermott, €480 – AJ&JA Lucas and €480 – R Tait. Many thanks to all our customers and Sponsors throughout the year.

Club Reports – Donegal 2018

Another fantastic  year  for Donegal Suffolk Breeders, with sheep from our club members exported to Belguim ,France, Spain and Portugal and the Uk, which reiterates the quality of Suffolks in Donegal.

NSC Kilkenny

Our sole representative Seamus Browne had a successful day after making the long journey South, with the Errigal flock winning 2nd prize ram lamb,2nd prize ewe lamb and Reserve Male Champion.

Scottish Premier

At the Scottish Premier sale in Stirling, Andrew Wilson’s Castleisle flock enjoyed a strong days selling with his 5 ram lambs av £3255, selling to a top of £ 7000gns, whilst at the Dark Diamonds in lamb sale in the Autumn. Andrew achieved the top price of £7,000gns selling to S Cobbald.

Irish Premier

At the Irish Premier Sale in Roscrea, Donegal Breeders were once again dominant throughout, winning all the major prizes, and achieving a remarkable 10 out of the 11 top prices on the day.

A huge congratulations to AJ&JA Lucas Finn Vale flock on winning the much coveted Surpreme Champion with their excellent ram lamb selling for €2000gns to the judge Mr James Rooney.           

Seamus Brownes  Errigal flock also enjoyed a successful days trading with his Res Champion selling for €2800gns. Seamus also received the days top price of €4200 selling to Patrick Donnellys  Donhro flock.  

Wm J &R Wilson’s Shannagh flock enjoyed a steady days trade with his 1st prize winning Group of Three selling at € 2050, €2050 and €1400gns. John A Dohertys  Malinhead  flock were also in the prices selling at €2600 and €3000gns to the Ballynacannon and Forkins flocks.  Carndonagh breeder Tommy Cavanagh received €2000gns for his best selling to the Cairness/Limestone flocks. J&R Thornton ‘s ram lamb won the strongly contested Novice flock.

Raphoe Premier

Our local Premier sale was judged by Elizabeth Gould,Ringsend, and she chose Andrew wilson’s strong ram lamb as her Champion, this lamb later sold for €1100gns.Reserve Champion on the night went to John A Dohertys ram lamb which sold for €690gns.1st in the pairs was also won by the Doherty’s. Seamus Browne received €780gns and €620 for 2 ram lambs.

Second Sale

Mr Philip Gurnney from the Oakbridge flock was our judge, and he chose his Champion from John A Dohertys  Malinhead flock which later sold for €660gns, with Reserve going to a lamb from Seamus Brownes  Errigal  flock which sold for €670gns .Seamus also won the pairs class, and received €670gns for another  lamb. Other prices on the night were €750,€780gns from J A Dohertys 2nd prize pair.

Third Sale

Mr William Tait from the Burnview flock judged our 3rd sale and he chose a lamb from J A Dohertys Malinhead flock as his Champion, this lamb later sold for €660gns.Res Champion went to a strong ram lamb from Robert Taits Bawn flock which sold for the top price of €800gns. 1st in the pairs also went to Robert Tait.

Fourth Sale

Our final sale was judged by club member Mr PJ McMonagle who awarded the Champion and Reserve to two excellent ram lambs from Robert Taits Bawn flock, with Robert’s Res Champion selling at € 550gns. Commercial buyers were more selective, with strong tight skinned, and good carcased lambs selling well.

Many thanks to all our sponsors throughout the year.

Club Reports – Eastern 2018

Thanks to the very generous sponsorship of Suffolk Sheep Society we were once again able to sponsor vouchers towards purchase of Suffolk ram at any of our sales for Suffolk/ Cheviot Ewe Lamb Class at Tullow Ewe Breeders Club Competition.  This proves a good opportunity to meet commercial farmers who will be our customers at our Club ram sales.  We were pleased this year to welcome Brian & Gus Doyle as new Club Members.

The National Championships were held this year in the Hub in Cillian Hill, Kilkenny. Congratulations to the Club Members who exhibited at this event and especially to all who won Rosettes.  Congratulations to John Stacey coming 1st in the Novice Ram Lamb class and 3rd in the Open Ram Lamb class, to Aeron Kealy for coming 1st in Novice Ewe Lamb Class and to Colin Watchorn on taking  2nd prize in this class also and also 5th prize in Novice Ram Lamb Class.

At Premier Show & Sale Roscrea 2018, Club members picked up some rosettes in the show and were active at the sale both selling and buying. Congratulation to John & Esther Gahan winning 2nd and 4th prize for their Shearling Ewes, Colin Watchorn winning 3rd prize in Ewe lamb Class, 3rd in Novice Ram lamb class and 5th in Open Ram Lamb Class and J & J Corcoran winning 4th prize in Novice Ram Lamb .We may be only a small club but we had 8 members showing and selling at Premier Sale.

At our club Premier Show & Sale in Tullow Judge Padraig Murphy from the Murbro Flock awarded Champion Sheep to a very strong shearling ram exhibited by Colin Watchorn. This ram sired by Cairness Temptation had earlier won the Shearling Class.  Reserve Champion went to Alan Stanley for his ram lamb by Glyda Dare Devil winner of the Recorded Ram Lamb Class. Highest price of the day €800 went to John & Esther Gahan’s ram lamb by Ballynacanon Bale. Prices were up on average from 2017 prices.

Our 2nd Show & Sale was judged by Arthur O’Keeffe from Annakisha Flock.  Champion Sheep went to Alan Stanley for his ram lamb by Glyda Dare Devil winner of the Recorded Class. Reserve Champion was awarded to John Stacey for his Open Class winner sired by Strathbogie Dynamite. Highest price of the sale went to Alan Stanley’s Champion selling to Pedigree Breeder Gabriel Conroy

Thanks very much to our two judges Padraig Murphy and Arthur O’Keeffe who took time out to judge our shows.

Having secured sponsorship from Quinns of Baltinglass it was agreed to spend some of the sponsorship money and banners and flyers.  The banners were very impressive and made our presence known around the mart Premises on sales days.

A big thanks to our Chairman Jonathan who has put in a big effort promoting the club and to everyone who helped out at the sales. 

Congratulation to the Club Members who entered Society Flock Competition 2018 which was judged by Andrew Wilson. Well done to all the winners:

Flock up to 30 Ewes – Reserve Flock – John & Esther Gahan – Barronstown Flock

Flock over 30  Ewes – Reserve Flock – S & S Gahan – Barrowlands Flock

Ewe lamb Class –        Reserve –  Colin Watchorn  – Beechbrook Flock

Best Stud Rams –        Winner of the Howard Peel Cup – S & S Gahan for Carragh Captivate

Many thanks to our customers for their continued support and congratulations to all our exhibitors for excellent standard of sheep presented at all our sales. Also a big thank you to Manager and Staff of Tullow Mart.

It was a great honour for our club to have Vera Roche one of the founder members of our Club recognised at Suffolk Hall of Fame Award in 2018.  Vera along with her late husband Tom established the Roundwood Flock in 1962. Vera travelled all over Ireland to Shows with her Suffolk’s and was quite successful in the show ring.

Show & Sale Winners 2018

Premier Show & Sale

Shearling Class

Colin Watchorn

Recorded Class:

1st      Alan Stanley

2nd     Colin Watchorn

3rd      S & S Gahan

4th      Robert & Irene Sands

Open Ram Class

1st      Alan Stanley

2nd     S & S Gahan

3rd      John & Esther Gahan

4th      Robert & Irene Sands

Pairs Class

1st      S & S Gahan

2nd     Colin Watchorn

3rd      Robert & Irene Sands

Champion                                Colin Watchorn

Reserve Champion                  Alan Stanley      

2nd Show & Sale

Recorded Class:

1st      Alan Stanley

2nd     Colin Watchorn

3rd      S & S Gahan

4th      Robert & Irene Sands

Open Ram Class

1st      John Stacey

2nd     Alan Stanley

3rd      Colin Watchorn

 4th     J & J Corcoran

Pairs Class

1st      Colin Watchorn

2nd     J & J Corcoran

3rd      Alan Stanley

Champion                                Alan Stanley

Reserve Champion                  John Stacey         

Club Reports – West of Ireland 2018

West Of Ireland Registered Suffolk Sheep Breeders club

2018 was a challenging year in every way with weather conditions not very favourable for the breeder.  Lambing time proved difficult with stock having to be housed for longer than normal and with delay’s getting stock out to grass.

The first outing for the Suffolk Sheep Society was the National Sheep Championships which was this year in Kilkenny as part of the NSA on June 9th.  I would like to congratulate our members Coote Geelan, Kennith Bailey and Garth Graham who were among the prize winners.

The calendar for the club opened this year on 7th July with the Club Championships being held at the “ Sheep 2018 Farm to Fork “run by Teagasc of Athenry . This event  was a great shop window to show case Suffolk’s and the high standard of Suffolk’s that are available from our members here in the West of Ireland. Kennith Baileys aged ewe was champion with Mattie & Kevin Kelly’s ram lamb as reserve. Congratulations both.

The south of Ireland premier was held once again in Roscrea and once again the west was well represented in the line-up for rosettes. I would like to congratulate all members who took part.

The 2018 sales opened with the West’s premier show and sale in Roscommon in early August. Johnathan Lucas from Killygorden, Donegal was the appointed judge .His choice on the day for champion was the winner of the ram lamb open class which came from the Benwiskin flock with the 1st prize winner in the Reordered class taking reserve champion from Priorview flock.

Our final show and sale for 2018 was also in Roscommon and with a large entry. John Doherty from Malinhead Donegal choose the 1st place open ram class winner from Benwiskin Suffolk’s as champion with Mattie & Kevin Kelly Summerhill Suffolk’s Galway taking reserve champion with their 1st prize winner in the recordered class.

Congratulations to all who took part in our shows this year and look forward to seeing you all back in 2019.