National Suffolk Championships 2022

National Suffolk Championships 2022

We are delighted to announce that after a three year absence due to the Pandemic, our National Suffolk Championships will take place at Charleville Agricultural Show, Co Cork on Sunday June 26th.

Classes on the day will include Young Handlers, Shearling Ram & Upwards, Aged Ewe, Shearling Ewe, Novice Lamb – Male or Female, Ram Lamb, Ewe Lamb Trimmed & Ewe Lamb Untrimmed. We are very much looking forward to this prestigious event from our Suffolk Calender and we hope to see you there.

Hall of Fame Awards 2022

Hall of Fame Awards 2022

Suffolk Sheep Society South of Ireland Branch

Arthur O’Keeffe, Annakisha Flock

The Suffolk Sheep Society, South of Ireland were delighted to see Mr Arthur O’Keefe of the Annakisha Flock, have his accomplishments and contributions over many years in the Suffolk World acknowledged at the National Hall of Fame Awards which were held in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone on Sunday May 1st. The National Hall of Fame Awards, Axknowledges people in the Ovine, Equine and Bovine Industries who have contributed over their lifetime to breeding, showing, adjudicating and promoting various breeds. Each breed society nominates a person who in their opinion is deserving of such an award.

The awards on the night were presented by Minister Pippa Hackett, Minister for state for Land Use and Bio Diversity in the Department of Agriculture.

Pippa Hackett Presenting the Award to Arthur O’Keeffe

Arthur O’Keeffe’s name is synonymous with the South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society for over forty years. During this time Arthur not alone worked hard to improve the Annakisha Suffolk Flock, founded 70 years ago by his late father, but also was actively involved in making the South of Ireland Branch one of the most successful branches in the society while on its committee of which he was chairman for two years.

He was appointed to the Judges Panel of the Suffolk Sheep Society in 1982 and has judged at numerous shows throughout Ireland and the UK including the Royal Highland, Royal Show, Royal Ulster, the National S&S, Edinburgh S&S, the Northern Ireland Branch Premier and the National Flock Competition.

In 2009, Arthur was honoured to be elected President of the Suffolk Sheep Society covering England, Scotland and Wales as well as the island of Ireland. His presidency saw him travel to all of the branches in these countries and he had the honour of judging the National Flock Competition of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

While dairying is the main farm enterprise Arthur has had a keen interest in the Suffolk breed since childhood. He believes that the Suffolk’s ability to reach target weights in a shorter time frame combined with good fleshing ability makes them the ideal sire for the commercial flock. The Suffolks also enjoy greater length than most of their counterparts while in recent years the Suffolk x ewe is in great demand for breeding and also commands a premium price from the butcher. 

The Annakisha Flock has consistently enjoyed great success in both the show and sales ring. While Arthur was fortunate to win the Supreme champion on 10 occasions at the RDS/National Championships and Female of the Year 7 times, he places great emphasis on the local shows as he feels that they are a great shop window to promote the breed and encourages all breeders to participate. At the Premier Show and Sale he has successfully claimed the championship 5 times while taking Reserve Champion 8 times selling to all corners of Ireland, UK and Europe. In recent years he has seen a large number of his Suffolk ewes and rams being exported to Europe and believes that this is testament to the high standard of sheep attained by the South of Ireland Branch members.

Arthur would like to thank the committee of the South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society for nominating him to receive the Hall of Fame Award and also his family who have helped and supported him through the years.

South of Ireland Branch Flockbook is now ‘LIVE’ on the Sheep Ireland Database

South of Ireland Branch Flockbook is now ‘LIVE’ on the Sheep Ireland Database

Your Account

Our flockbook is now hosted on the Sheep Ireland database and provides you with your online flockbook account to view the current animals located in your flock. You can now use your online account to record the information required by the breed society throughout the year – i.e., mating, lambing, animal movements etc. You can also request pedigree registrations and animal genotypes via the account. Several helpful flock management reports for your flock are also available. There is a HELP button at the top of most pages with instructions and guidance on how the page works.

How to Log in

To access your online account go to and click ‘Online Services’. Enter your personal department flock designator as your username (IE04 followed by 5 digits – IE0412345). If logging in for the first time, you will need to create your own password.  To do this, click on the ‘forgot password’ link which you will find on the online services page. This will send an email to the email address attached to your flocks account (if you did not include an email on your application to the society you will not be able to access your online account, (Please contact the South of Ireland office directly to correct this).

 Follow the simple instructions on this email to create your password.

First steps once you get logged in
  • Please check your flock inventory once you log in. It is crucial that this inventory is accurate and kept up to date. If new sheep need to be added, you can do so by using the ‘Add Animal’ function under the ‘Inventory’ tab on your account. Contact the society if you have any issues adding sheep. If sheep have been sold or have died, please record this information accurately in a timely fashion using the animal sales screen or the death tab. Every effort was made to ensure a smooth transition of the Suffolk Sheep Society – South of Ireland Flockbook onto the Sheep Ireland database, however if you see something inaccurate please contact the SOI office directly and we will correct it as soon as possible.
  • Record your ewes recent pregnancy scan results, including your barrens
  • Order a genotype for your stock ram/s. This is compulsory. You can also genomically test any other animal in your flock if you so wish.


  • Add your 2022 lambs as soon after birth as possible, by clicking on ‘Lambing Management’ located under the ‘Management’ option on your account.
Make recording your lambing even easier!

Download the Sheep Ireland app to your phone and record your lambing data as it happens. Our LambPlus members have found this app extremely user friendly and efficient.

Sheep Ireland on the App Store (

Sheep Ireland – Apps on Google Play

Joining Sheep Irelands LambPlus programme

We strongly encourage all society members to join the LambPlus performance recording programme. To continue and increase the rate of genetic gain in our breed, we must collect as much data as possible on our breed. There are also many perks, such as subsidised genotyping costs and access to the LambPlus customer care team.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are considering joining the LambPlus Program, Sheep Ireland have extended the online application deadline for the LambPlus 2022 season for Suffolk members until 24th January 2022

You will see a yellow banner appear on your homepage when you log into your Sheep Ireland account and you can simply sign up there. Alternatively,  call their office on 023 88 20 451 to discuss what’s involved or email to express your interest in joining.  Sheep Ireland will be closed over the Christmas period and will re-open again on Tues 4th Jan.” Please bear with us as we transition from the Grassroots system into the new Flockbook system on the Sheep Ireland system. Inevitable there will be some queries and adjustments to be made.

If you have any queries, please contact the Suffolk Sheep Society – South of Ireland Branch office directly either by phone on 083 0907313 or via email at

Useful Links

Sheep Ireland

Sheep Ireland on the App Store (

Sheep Ireland – Apps on Google Play

South of Ireland Branch Premier Show & Sale – Blessington 2021

South of Ireland Branch Premier Show & Sale – Blessington 2021

Ballinatone Flock Suffolk Ram sets New Irish Record at Blessington

Date: 2nd August 2021

Auctioneer: JP & M Doyle

Judge: William Tait, Burnview Flock

Blessington Mart was the place to be on August Bank Holiday Monday. A packed mart saw the highest price paid for a sheep in Ireland when the hammer fell on Richard Thompson’s (Donegal) ram lamb at €44,000. But this wasn’t just a breeder’s sale, an excellent clearance of 81% in the ram lamb class had the lot, breeders lambs at record prices, forty-one sheep exported and a strong commercial turnout with over 60% of sheep sold meeting the needs of the Irish commercial farmer. Although the  overall sale average was €1.884 with a clearance of over 83%, the average price for commercial sheep was €660 to €670.

The record breaking top priced Lot 70 from Richard’s Ballinatone Flock is a son of the 2017 born Solwaybank Sapphire 2 out of a Mountford Mustang sired Ballynacannon ewe. Coming second in the Novice class, he was bought by Northern Ireland breeders Dennis Taylor, for his Ballynacannon flock based near Coleraine, County Antrim’s Alaistair Gault (Forkins flock), Ronan McLaughlin from Donegal (Ballyboe flock) and Portuguese breeder Joao Guilherme with Richard Thompson retaining a share. The Ballinatone pen also had the highest average at €15,625 for three sheep sold.

Darragh McMenamin’s (Mullinvale Flock, Donegal) Breed Champion, and winner of both the Novice and Open Ram Lamb classes, was next in the money list with Judge William Tait (S & W Tait, Burnview Flock) paying €34,000 for this Salopian Scuderia sired ram lamb out of a Balquhain dam for his Co Tyrone based flock. The Mullinvale pen had the second highest average after Ballinatone at €6,575 for 6 ram lambs sold.

Maghera breeder, Stephen Sufferin (Crewelands Flock, N Ireland) paid €7,500 and €6,500 for Philip Byrne’s (Kilkenny) lot 119 and Richard Wilson’s (Donegal) lot 194 respectively. Byrne’s Limepark flock  bred Muirton One Direction sired lamb is out of a Limepark ewe. Richard Wilson’s February born Shannagh ram lamb is by last years Champion, Kells T-Rex, out of a Birness Murray sired Shannagh dam.

 Two sheep then sold for €5,000. Brian and Gus Doyle’s (Kilmacoo Flock) lot 129 was the top price ram going to mainland Europe and was bought by French breeder, Sebastian Delval. This Kilmacoo ram lamb is the son of Errigal Grim Reaper out of a Birness dam. The other €5,000 priced sheep was lot 173 from J & M Doherty’s Malinhead Flock. P J Howard (Co Clare) bought this Limestone Red Rum sired ram lamb out of a homebred dam.

The females got the sale off to an excellent start with James O’Connell’s lot 7 Knockogan Shearling Ewe topping the female money list at €1,600 for his Female Champion purchased by F & S Brigdale for their Co Clare based Atomic Flock. The Reserve Female Champion, Kenneth Bailey’s winner of the Ewe Lamb Class got €1,400 from Michael McHugh of Co Wicklow.



Top: €44,000

Clearance: 83% (160 sold)

Average: €1,884

Shearling Ewes:

Top: €1,600

Clearance: 89% (16 sold)

Average: €909

Ewe Lambs:

Top: €1,400

Clearance: 95% (20 sold)

Average: €732

Ram Lambs:

Top: €44,000

Clearance: 81% (124 sold)

Average: €1,851

70BALLINATONE44,000PDW Taylor, A Gault, R McLaughlin, R Thompson & J Guilherme
158MULLINVALE34,000S & W Tait
119LIMEPARK7,500S Sufferin
194SHANNAGH6,500S Sufferin
129KILMACOO5,000S Delval
173MALINHEAD5,000PJ Howard

Show Results

Male and Supreme Champion

1st Lot 158 Darragh McMenamin

UJU:21:02676 by Salopian Scuderia

Reserve Male and Overall Reserve Champion

1st Lot 133 Arthur O’Keeffe

R15:21:06302 by Castleisle Kilteskin Prince

Female Champion

Lot 7 James O’Connell

DBJ:20:02212 by Shannagh Synergy

Reserve Female Champion

Lot 31 Kenneth Bailey

HDC:21:00172 by Cairness Cobra

Class 1- Shearling Ewe

1stLot 7 James O’Connell

DBJ:20:02212 by Shannagh Synergy

2nd Lot 11 Kenneth Bailey

HDC:20:00125 by Cairness Corker

3rd Lot 5 John Hanly

G4:20:02645 by Limestone Lowry

Class 2- Ewe Lamb

1st Lot 31 Kenneth Bailey

HDC:21:00172 by Cairness Cobra

2nd Lot 35 Robert Tait

18W:21:02433 by Glenagh Gideon

3rd Lot 32 Philip Lynch

CZK:21:01017 by Benedyglen Big Jack

Class 3- Shearling Ram

1st Lot 47 James O’Connell

DBJ:20:02276 by Shannagh Synergy

Class 4- Ram Lamb Sired by a SOI Bred Ram

1st Lot 133 Arthur O’Keeffe

R15:21:06302 by Castleisle Kilteskin Prince

2nd Lot 211 Brian & Gus Doyle

UTX:21:00174 by Errigal Grim Reaper

3rd Lot 77 John A Doherty

CFN:21:03102 by Shannagh Top Gun II

Class 5- Recorded Ram Lamb Class

1st Lot 128 Susan O’Keeffe

BYD:21:02580 by Burnview One For Arthur

2nd Lot 121 Philip Lynch

CZK:21:01024 by Strathbogie Kind Of Magic

3rd Lot 78 John A Doherty

CFN:21:03103 by Shannagh Top Gun II

Class 6- Novice Ram Lamb

1st Lot 158 Darragh McMenamin

UJU:21:02676 by Salopian Scuderia

2nd Lot 70 Richard Thompson

TDL:21:03062 by Solwaybank Sapphire 2

3rd Lot 129 Brian & Gus Doyle

UTX:21:00179 by Errigal Grim Reaper

Class 7 – Open Ram Lamb

1st Lot 158 Darragh McMenamin

UJU:21:02676 by Salopian Scuderia

2nd Lot 122 Philip Lynch

CZK:21:01024 by Strathbogie A Kind Of Magic

3rd Lot 119 Philip Byrne

TJW:21:00048 by Muirton One Direction

Class 8 – Gigot Class

1st Lot 81 Robert Tait

18W:21:02446 by Errigal Masterpiece

2nd Lot 85 John Stacey

JYO:21:01152 by Benrafton Panther

3rd Lot 161 John & Esther Gahan

SKW:21:00558 by Forkins Franko

Group of Three

1st Lots 156, 58, 60 Darragh McMenamin

UJU:21:02650, UJU:21:02624, UJU:21:02643

2nd Lots 108, 109, 110 Eamon Duffy

C46:21:03216, C46:21:02176, C46:21:03158

3rd Lots 70, 71, 165 Richard Thompson

TDL:21:03062, TDL:21:03064, TDL:21:03065

Young Breeder Focus – 2021

Young Breeder Focus – 2021

Harry Graham, Kirriemuir Suffolks

Harry Graham from Ballygawley, Sligo has always had an interest in sheep. At age 13, he has just sold his first Pedigree Suffolk Ram at a Suffolk Sheep Society accredited sale.

Born into sheep farming through his Mum and Dad, Alison & Garth Graham and his Grandad, Bert Irwin, he took a keen interest from a very early age and once he got his first pair of wellies, there was no stopping him! The family farm has always carried commercial Suffolk cross ewes, but in 2011, his Mum & Dad decided to start a Pedigree Suffolk Flock, (Kirriemuir Suffolks) affiliated to the Suffolk Sheep Society. Kirriemuir Suffolks won a number of Certificates of Merit in last year’s National Flock Competitions for the UK & Ireland. Unfortunately, these did not take place in 2020 due to Covid 19 restrictions.

Harry has been helping out on the farm since he was able to hold a bottle, feeding pet lambs and gradually progressing to helping out with more difficult chores required throughout the farming year. It wasn’t long before Harry wanted some sheep of his own, so after receiving some money for his 8th birthday party, he insisted on going to the mart to ‘Buy some Sheep’ for himself! He bought a super hogget ewe which turned out, unexpectedly to be in lamb, and his parents gifted him the best Suffolk Cross ewe lamb on the farm the same year. The following year, he had 2 lambs – a ewe and a ram.  He retained the ewe lamb for himself as a breeding ewe and sold the ram lamb. Harry’s policy for the past few years has been to retain his good ewe lambs and sell everything else. With the money he saved from his sales, in 2019, he decided he would start up his own Pedigree Suffolk Flock.

The Suffolk Sheep Society actively promotes Youth Membership, and runs competitions for young breeders, young handlers and encourages young members to learn about all aspects and key elements of modern farming.

Harry named his flock ‘Westside Pedigree Suffolks’ and in 2019 he purchased 2 females. A ewe lamb from Quarrypark Suffolks in Galway and an in-lamb Gimmer from Malinhead Suffolks at the All-Star Female Sale in Blessington in November.  His Gimmer lambed a terrific Ram Lamb with superb progeny from some of the top flocks in the UK & Ireland such as Solwaybank, Lakeview, Cairness and Clyda. He has taken responsibility for looking after this ram since it was born and has nurtured it through to be a superb lamb with great bone & carcass.

Harry joined the West of Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club in 2020 as a junior member. This allowed him access to the Pedigree Sales which take place each year in the West of Ireland. He brought his ram lamb to the Club Premier Sale which took place in Roscommon on Saturday 29th August. This sale is the largest sale in Connacht for Pedigree Suffolk Ram Lambs and farmers travel from all over the province to purchase top quality Pedigree Rams for the up-coming breeding season. It was a particularly successful sale this year with over 90% clearance of rams on the day and Harry was very pleased to sell his ram to a large commercial farmer.

Harry now plans to re-invest his money in another in-lamb gimmer at this years All Star sale to add to his flock. His Quarrypark Ewe Lamb and his Malinhead Gimmer have already been running with one of Kirriemuir Suffolks stock Rams, Errigal Jack the Lad, who won the Certificate of Merit in the UK & Ireland Flock Competition in 2019. He is looking forward to the lambing season for 2021 which starts in January and to a successful sales season next year.

For further information on Pedigree Suffolk Sheep in the West of Ireland go to  or on Facebook at

The National body to whom Westside Pedigree Suffolks is affiliated is the Suffolk Sheep Society at


 Following evaluation of our applications to DAFM we have today been notified in writing that the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine has approved our applications to be recognised as a breed society in Ireland and to operate a breeding programme for the Suffolk Sheep breed. This now makes us the largest Government approved pedigree sheep breed society in Ireland!