When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on the 23rd June 2016 I don’t think any of us fully understood the implications in general and how things would work out in practice for our industry. Fast forward nearly 5 years and the pedigree livestock sector is now grappling with the changes required to satisfy new legislation and directives, in particular with the registration of pedigree animals in EU and the movement of breeding livestock between Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and continental Europe. We are still operating in an extremely fluid environment with uncertainty and changes in direction becoming the norm. For the most of you, the impact of Brexit on how you manage your pedigree enterprise on a day to day basis is minimal and that is unlikely to change, but for others it is creating major challenges.
At a Society level, we are implementing a range of requirements to protect the interests of the Society and support all of our members as the required changes in our practice, processes and structures are unfolding.
Flock Book Developments
The major organisational challenge arising from Brexit is that the EU no longer recognises British based Pedigree Societies operating in their geographical areas. This means that European livestock can no longer be included in the British Suffolk Sheep Society flock book (ie database). We have been working closely with our database service providers (Grassroots) and DAFM to separate the flock books and to get formal recognition from the Department for the South of Ireland Branch as a Society in its own right. There are absolutely no issues with buying, selling and transferring sheep between members in Ireland and the DAFM application is to enable the issue of certificates for the movement of sheep to other legal jurisdictions including GB. The application is progressing well with a number of the key elements already approved. However, all of this means that from the beginning of March 2021 UK based flocks will be separated from European Flocks. These changes will be publicised on the Society websites and social media pages when it goes live.
Sheep Registration in Ireland
When registering sheep you will be issued with pedigree certificates as before – the only difference is that they will have the South of Ireland variation of the logo and the address is the South of Ireland Branch registered office address in Dublin. Apart from that it looks exactly the same as the current pedigree certificate. You will be able to use these certificates to transfer sheep between flocks as before.
Livestock Movement between GB & Northern Ireland/Ireland
At the time of writing this circular, there are a number of issues impacting on Society operations and events with regard to the movement of livestock between GB (England, Scotland & Wales) and Northern Ireland/EU. Because Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom with an EU land border (ie Republic of Ireland) and although it is part of the United Kingdom and within the UK trading area, it is now considered part of the EU regulation area. This means that there is no change to the processes and regulations for the movement of livestock from Northern Ireland to GB (England Scotland & Wales), nor for the movement of animals between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
However, for the movement of livestock from GB to Northern Ireland/Ireland, the same regulations apply as to the importing of livestock from any third country to the EU. At this point in time the key areas of impact are unsold animals or purchases at sales in GB being moved to Northern Ireland/Ireland, the tagging of animals being exported from GB to Northern Ireland/Ireland flocks and the status of marts used by the Society in GB in relation to the issue of Export Health Certificates for either the repatriation of sheep or the import of GB bred consignments. We are of course working through these issues with the various government departments, along with other key stakeholders, and once clarified, details will be circulated to members and published on the society websites.
The West of Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club publish a 50th Anniversary Magazine to mark tremendous milestone in their history.
Click on the cover page below to read articles from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., ‘The Origins of the Suffolk’, a trip down memory lane and much much more.
If you would like a copy, please get in touch with any of the committee or at firstname.lastname@example.org and it can be arranged. You can also visit their website here or click the links below.
Standing room only at Blessington Mart on Saturday as both commercial farmers and pedigree breeders flocked to the Lamlac sponsored South of Ireland Branch of the Suffolk Sheep Society’s Premier Sale. Over half the ram lambs sold on Saturday went to commercial farmers typically buying in the €400 to €900 price range. Ram lambs overall achieved an excellent 75% clearance with an average of €931.
“this has been an excellent sale showcasing the best of Irish bred suffolks. The Society has been keeping the pedigree Suffolk flock book in Ireland since 1893 with the first registered flocks in Counties Roscommon and Derry and our members are still to the fore. The success of today’s sale demonstrates that Suffolks are not only number one for finishing and taste, they are also a major player in the commercial sheep world. We have seen today that registered suffolk lambs are not only attractive to the pedigree breeder, but also to the commercial farmer and even into mainland Europe with lambs bought at Blessington going to Belgium and France”
Suffolk Sheep Society Chief Executive Robin McIlrath
Patrick O’Connor (Co Kerry) paid the top price of €3150 for Philip Byrne’s (Co Kilkenny) Burnview One for Arthur sired ram lamb (TJW:19:00013)out of a Shannagh Knockout sired Annakisha dam. Click here to view pedigree. The dam’s maternal sister bred the 2018 female Champion and Supreme Champion of the Year.
The hammer fell to B Fenton (Co Wicklow) €2940 for Ronan McLaughlin’s (Co Donegal) Novice Class winner (UPX:19:00024). Sired by Limestone Aston Martin (purchased for 40,000gns at Stirling in 2018), this lamb is out of the Ballynacannon gimmer purchased for 9500gns in 2018.
P J Howard paid €2730 for Young Donegal breeder Darragh McMenamin’s Rookery Rodeo sired lot 113 (UJU:19:01440) out of a Cairness Cyclone sired Lakeview dam. For the same money, Northern Ireland breeder Adam Porter (Maghera) purchased Gerry Killilea’s (Co Galway) Lakeview Harbinger sired lamb out of a Newwells dam.
Ballymena breeder R H Barclay bought Richard Wilson’s (Donegal) Supreme Champion (78A:19:06468) for €2310 and Belgium breeder F Collard paid €2625 for the Open Ram Lamb Class Reserve (78A:19:06468). Three ram lambs went for €2310, Andrew Smith from Co Cavan bought Andrew Lucas’s (Co Donegal) lot 49. O & G Deane (Co Kildare) also bought a Lucas ram lamb (lot 126) at the same money for their Mountford flock. The third at €2310 was Susan O’Keeffe’s Recorded Class 1st Place ram lamb (lot 124) which went North to W and S Tait (Co Tyrone).
The three top pen averages were R Wilson (Co Donegal) with €1300 with 5 sheep through the ring, E Duffy (Co Meath) with €1062 for 8 sheep and S O’Keeffe (Co Cork) with €1058 for 8 sheep.
Top female price was K Bailey’s (Co Roscommon) reserve female champion ewe lamb (HDC:19:00075) going to James Cuffe’s pedigree Inbhear flock in Co Mayo for €1470. Colin Watchorn paid €1207 for J and E Gahan’s ewe lamb (Co Wicklow) to add to his Irish Flock of the Year Beechbrook flock. Colin’s flock viewing day is Saturday (10th August) at 4:40pm at his farm in Newcastle, Co Wicklow.
The Finnvale Flock was established in 1990 by my father and I’ve had a huge interest from a young age! Our flock consists of 65 pedigree ewes which are all served naturally by stock rams. Over the last number of years, we have gone down the route of embryo transfer. This has enabled us to gain the most out of our top ewes and has rewarded us by producing a higher standard of ram lambs as well as female lines. Service sires are carefully selected for skins, carcass, size and power. Purchase of top quality females through the years has also worked in our favour.
What have been your greatest achievements to date?
2016 and 2017 was the start of our recent run of success when we got 1st prize group of 3 at the Irish Premier Sale. We were delighted to carry that success into 2018 by getting the Supreme Champion at the 2018 Irish Premier Sale in Roscrea, which later went on to sell for €2000 to the judge. This year we had numerous prize winners at the Irish Premier Sale in Blessington, with two lambs selling to €2000 each and we had the overall champion at the Donegal Suffolk Breeders’ Premier Sale 2019.
What plans do you have for the future of your flock?
Our plans to progress in the future would be to possibly keep a smaller number of flock ewes and concentrate more on breeding by means of ET and the use of the top rams available to us.
What ram has been the most influential on your flock to date?
Oakbridge Maximus purchased at the NI Premier Sale 2016. He sired the Supreme Champion at Roscrea in 2018 and bred lambs selling for €2000 twice in Blessington this year. He has also bred a strong line of females within the flock.
What advice would you give a new breeder starting out?
Ahh my advice would be careful selection of females to start your flock, go to local shows and sales get talking to other breeders to help learn about the breed and what to look for in a Suffolk.
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.
NSBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
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.
SHOWS & SALES
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 .
PREMIER SHOW & SALE, ROSCOMMON MART – 31st August 2019
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
ROSCOMMON 2ND SHOW & SALE – 28TH SEPT 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.