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 www.sheep.ie 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.
NB: ALL STOCK RAMS MUST BE GENOTYPED INCLUDING RAMS USED IN 2021
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
The Suffolk Sheep Society South of Ireland held their Premier Show & Sale on Monday July 25th at Blessington Mart.
A large selection of top quality sheep were placed before the judge, Mr John Gibb, of the renowned Cairnton Flock in Scotland while commercial breeder, Mr.Jim Corrigan, was on hand to judge the Gigot Class.
Taking Supreme Champion of the Show was the Finnvale Flock, of Andrew & Jonathan Lucas, Co.Donegal. This stylish son of Salopian Pure Gold (brother to the record breaking 200K gns Solid Gold) and a Shannagh Ewe, had been previously tapped out by John Gibb as winner of the Open Class before lining up in the Championship. While the champion was unsold, Lucas went on to sell his first prize Pen of Three ram lambs for €2800, €2600 and €2600 respectively. Taking Reserve Champion in the pre-sale show was a Rookery Rebel sired ram lamb from Darragh McMenamin’s Mullinvale Flock. Darragh sold another Rookery Rebel sired ram lamb for €2500 to Italy.
Topping the sale was local breeder, Colin Watchorn’s Beechbrook Flock, when his Limestone Gold Rush sired ram lamb was snapped up by Alistair Barkley for €5200. This ram will join his Blackbrae Flock in Northern Ireland. He had been placed second in the Novice Class behind the Donegal based Doherty Bros who had claimed the red rosette with their Malinhead Rossi sired lamb.
Other top prices on the day included Richard Wilson’s Shannagh lamb who was second in the Ram Sired by a South of Ireland Bred Ram class. Sired by Kells T-Rex (the 2020 Premier Champion) this ram was purchased by Richard Thompson at €3700 while another ET brother sold to Mark Priestley for €2700. First in this class was a Ballinatone BT Buddy sired ram from Patrick O Keeffe’s Blackwater Flock who was knocked down at €2000 to the Walker Family. In the Errigal pen, a January born The Views Unknown Legend sired lamb topped the prices at €2000. Westport based Michael Hastings flock, Western Suffolks, had his Strathbogie Joel sired lamb knocked down in the ring at €2100 after he had placed 4th in the Novice Class. In the Shearling Class John Hanly’s Oakbridge Oscar sired ram took the top spot going on to sell for €900
In the female classes it was Andrew Smith’s stylish Cloontagh Chieftan sired ewe which took the red rosette in the Shearling Class. She went on to sell in the ring for €1200. Top honours in the Ewe Lamb Class went to Colin Watchorn’s Beechbrook Flock. This breedy Limestone Gold Rush Ewe Lamb went on to take Female Champion of the show with Andrew Smith’s Shearling claiming the reserve spot.
Topping the Shearling prices at €1400, was the Co Leitrim based Loughrynn Flock of Coote and Trevor Geelan with their January born Crewelands Drifter sired gimmer who was placed third in her class. Andrew Smith’s second prize ewe lamb by Kells Wingman, topped the females selling for €2000 to Northern Ireland breeder Dennis Taylor.
A number of sheep were exported to Northern Ireland and Europe from the sale but the export trade was down significantly on the record breaking 2021 figures and this was put down to a number of factors, with increased transportation costs topping the list playing a major part in the decreased trade.
Commercial trade accounted for 50% of all ram sales and these animals recorded an average of €706, marginally down on last years prices. Although the amount of rams sold into the commercial sector was down slightly on 2021, which was due in part to the early date of the sale, a number of buyers were filling their orders early to avail of the large selection on offer. The overall average for the sale was €1030.
The Society feel that Zootechnical Certification and approval of their Pedigree Breeding Program is playing a large part in its growing membership. Many new breeders took part in this year’s sale and it is encouraging to see so many younger breeders getting involved in pedigree breeding.
The remaining Society Sales will be held in Cahir on Friday 2nd September, Carnew on Wednesday 7th September, Ballyjamesduff on Friday 16th September and Ballina on Tuesday October 4th.
On Sunday 26th June, Suffolk Sheep Society South of Ireland breeders from all over the country turned up to Charleville Agricultural Show to compete in the Irish Suffolk Sheep National Championships from which there had been an absence of 3 years as a result of the pandemic. It was great to see such a high level of interest at the Suffolk ring and we were especially delighted to see some of our Suffolk Colleagues from the Netherlands attending the Show while on a visit to Ireland.
The Society were delighted to receive a new cup for the Supreme Champion of the Show. The Tom Quirke Memorial Cup was presented to the Society by Ann Quirke-O’Mahony on behalf of the entire Quirke Family in memory of her late Father who was an enthusiastic and forward thinking Suffolk Breeder, from his Flock’s establishment in 1967 up until his death in August 2017.
Despite inclement weather conditions, enthusiasm was high as Judge William Fleming of the Hallhill Flock in Scotland prepared to take to the ring. The standard of sheep presented on the day was a credit to all the breeders participating and showcased the Suffolk Breed to its full potential to all those watching the show.
The show kicked off with the Junior Handler class which saw 7 enthusiastic young stock persons demonstrate their knowledge and ability to handle sheep. It was 15 year old Harry Graham of the Westside flock, which he established in 2020, who received the red rosette from the Judge.
In the Shearling Ram class, it was Arthur O’Keeffe who dominated with a Birness Freedom son with Coote Geelan’s Cairness Diamond Geezer son taking second and Harry Graham’s Errigal Jack the Lad’s son taking the third spot.
The sun shone as the Aged Ewes took to the ring with Susan O’Keeffe’s home bred ewe, sired by Castleisle Kilteskin Prince taking the top honours in the Class. In the Shearling Ewe Class, Susan O’Keefe dominated the field once again catching the judge’s eye with her Annakisha Ewe, again sired by Castleisle Kilteskin Prince. Her second entry also sired by Prince took second and Kenneth Bailey’s Cairness Cobra sired ewe took the third spot.
In the Novice Class it was Coote Geelan of the Loughrynn Flock who took top honours with his stylish ewe lamb, sired by Beechbrook Oscar. It was a tight call between Kenneth Bailey’s ewe lamb sired by Cairness Our Bucks and Ann & Dan O’Mahony’s Errigal the Emperor sired Ewe lamb for second and third but the judge settled on Lismurtagh second and Ballygarvanstud third in the class.
The Ram Lamb class was next in the line up where Susan O’Keeffe’s Muirton One Direction son took top honours with Sean O’Connor of the Islandmore Flock claiming his first rosette of the day, taking second with a Beechcrest Bacardi son. Third in the class was Ann & Dan O’Mahony’s Blackbrae Diamond son.
Next it was the turn of the ewe lambs and the first class in was the Untrimmed Ewe Lamb where Philip Byrne of the Limepark Flock showed a lamb by Errigal Simply the Best. She was a stylish ewe lamb who emerged from the class victorious, claiming the red rosette, much to the delight of Philip’s son Padraig who had shown her earlier in the Young Handler Class.
The final class of the day was the Trimmed Ewe Lamb which resulted in a hat trick for the O’Keeffe family with Patrick and his Blackwater Flock taking first with his Ballinatone BT Buddy son, Susan taking second with her ewe lamb also sired by BT Buddy and Arthur taking third spot with his lamb sired by Castlewellan Sportsman.
In the Female Championship it was Susan O’Keeffe’s Shearling Ewe who claimed the top honours and Philip Byrne’s Untrimmed Ewe Lamb took the Reserve spot.
The Male Championship was awarded to Arthur O’Keeffe’s Shearling ram with Susan O’Keeffe’s Ram Lamb taking the Reserve Spot.
In the Final Showdown the judge tapped out Susan O’Keefe’s Shearling Ewe as his favourite of the day to claim the Supreme Champion title and the newly presented Tom Quirke Memorial Cup, with Philip Byrne’s Untrimmed Ewe lamb emerging as Reserve Champion.
The Society would like to thank our sponsors for the day – Connolly’s Redmills and Animax-Vet for their generous support. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Sheep Section Show Committee for setting up the penning and showing area and for running such a well organised event.
Tom Quirke was famous amongst his peers as a man with a keen eye for for good quality stock. Having grown up helping his father with his Pedigree Flock of Border Leicester’s, his love of sheep continued to flourish into adulthood, and when his father passed away in 1955 he took over the flock, taking it to its pinnacle in 1966 & 1973 by winning the McKenzie Cup.
His love of animals also continued to grow, and he took a keen interest in Border Collies and Sheepdog trialling where he competed both Nationally & Internationally, including the BBC Show, One Man and His Dog.
Tom was elected as Chairman of the Munster Sheep Breeders Association and in the mid sixties, he began to take interest in a new up and coming breed – The Suffolk Sheep. He had the vision to see the potential for the breed given its faster growth rates, ease of fleshing and most of all its saleability and promise as a breed. As a result, in 1967, the Derryvillane Flock of Pedigree Suffolk Sheep was founded with the purchase of three shearling in-lamb ewes from the Patrician College, Ballyfin, Co Laois, with another five ewes being purchased from the Annakisha Flock of Arthur O’Keeffe Snr.
Three years later in 1970, Tom won the Novice, the Open and the Championship for the best ram lamb in Ireland at the South of Ireland Premier sale in Gavin Low’s sale yard, Prussia St, Dublin.
Over the following years, Tom was actively involved in promoting Suffolk Sheep, travelling throughout the country successfully exhibiting and selling his sheep.
He was appointed to the Judges Panel in 1980 and judged at many shows up and down the country. Like many other top Suffolk Breeders, he travelled to the Premier Sales in the UK to purchase stock from the top breeding lines and he became well known amongst Suffolk breeders on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Tom was appointed Chairman of the Suffolk Sheep Society – South of Ireland Branch and it was during his tenure as Chairman that he was intrinsic to the foundation of the National Flock Competition in Ireland. His vision for the Flock Competition was that smaller flocks would be able to flourish and compete against flocks of a similar size, hence developing the quality of Suffolk Flocks nationally. The Flock competition continues to be held annually (although it has had a break as a result of the Pandemic)
In his latter years, Tom was honoured by the Suffolk Sheep Society by being inducted into the Suffolk National Hall of Fame, an honour bestowed upon breeders by the Society for their outstanding contribution to the Suffolk Breed. Up until his death in 2017, Tom always attended Suffolk Events whenever it was possible and as ill health crept in and he was no longer able to attend in person, he looked forward to nothing more than a sale catalogue, filled with all the prices and results of the day, being presented to him on the return home of a family member.
It was therefore a privilege and with great delight that the Suffolk Sheep Society accepted a memorial cup from the Quirke Family at Charleville Agricultural Show on Sunday June 26th 2022.
The Tom Quirke Memorial Cup for the Supreme Champion of the National Suffolk Championships was presented to the Society by Tom’s daughter Ann Quirke-O’Mahony on behalf of the entire Quirke family. The Tom Quirke Memorial Cup was presented to Susan O’Keefe of the Clyda Flock by Ann Quirke O’Mahony, for her Shearling Ewe who won the Supreme Champion Title of 2022.
The Society would very much like to thank the Quirke Family for their presentation of the Cup and it looks forward to it being presented to many Suffolk Champions in the years to come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clearance: 83% (160 sold)
Clearance: 89% (16 sold)
Clearance: 95% (20 sold)
Clearance: 81% (124 sold)
PRICE IN EUROS
PDW Taylor, A Gault, R McLaughlin, R Thompson & J Guilherme
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.