2,400 sheep set for event
YOU can't have a sheep shearing competition without sheep, and the man charged with procuring the animals is Francey Gorman, a farmer from Ballinakill, Co Laois, and secretary of Laois IFA.
Francey has gathered 2,400 animals, 2,300 for competition and 100 for the Sheep Dog Trials.
Organising this vital part of the event is a complex piece of work. "We have sheep coming from eight different counties and supplied by 18 farmers," said Francey.
"But it isn't as simple as someone turning up on the day with a trailer-load of sheep. Each farm has to be visited prior to the event and the sheep have to be of the best quality."
Not only do the sheep have to be inspected, they have to be crutched prior to the event.