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Thursday 19 October 2017

Up to 2,200 sheep to be sheared by world class champs in Roscommon

Ivan Scott broke the sheep shearing record
Ivan Scott broke the sheep shearing record
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

HUGE crowds are expected to turn out for the official launch of Kepak's All-Ireland and All-Nation's Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships at The Square, in Roscommon town this Sunday.

Details of this year's event, which is due to take place at St Brigid's GAA club in Kiltoom, Co Roscommon over the June bank holiday weekend, will be announced by organisers who promise that the upcoming 2017 championships will be "bigger and better than ever".

The launch will offer spectators a flavour of things to come at the summer event with representatives from Kepak, Roscommon County Council, Roscommon Leader Partnership, St Brigid's GAA club and The Irish Sheep Shearers Association expected to be on hand to get community momentum rolling.

At the June event, up to 2,200 sheep will have their woollen fleeces cut off by superstar shearers, including Donegal native and world champion, Ivan Scott, who recently broke the nine hour 'Strongwool lamb record' in the UK by just one lamb, setting an incredible new mark of 867 lambs.

It was the first attempt of this record by anyone in the northern hemisphere. He beat the previous record of 866 which was set by shearer Dion King in the central north island of New Zealand a decade ago.

The 35-year-old, from Kilmacrennan now has a staggering nine All-Ireland championship titles and a New Zealand and Corriedale Championship accolade to his name.

Ivan Scott
Ivan Scott

More than 200 other top class shearers from New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Wales and France will also fly in to compete in Kiltoom across 19 different categories in two days of intense, international competition.

Country music superstars Nathan Carter and Johnny Brady will also perform for crowds on the Friday and Saturday night and organisers say the musicians may even be tempted to give the shearing a go too.

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Tomas Beades, chairman of the organising committee, said: "This event promises to be a memorable weekend and to make this happen a massive community effort is needed. St Brigid's is putting in place a full weekend programme of events and would greatly appreciate as many people as possible getting involved in this local community event.

"We would once again encourage everyone to get out and support the event and would like to acknowledge the sponsors who have shown their support for this event to date, particularly our main sponsor Kepak," he said.

In addition to the sheep shearing competitions, there will be a range of other attractions, including nightly entertainment in a fully-licensed bar, children's activities, arts and crafts, artisan food, heritage features, sheep shows, sheep dog trials, trade stands, cookery demonstrations and a food quarter.

As part of this event, Roscommon Leader Partnership will also host the final showcase for two of its Erasmus projects: 'creative communities igniting change' and 'food incubators transforming regions' on Friday, June 2.

The Irish Sheep Shearers Association (ISSA) would also like to hear from clubs or organisations interested in hosting next year's All-Ireland and All-Nations Shearing and Wool Handling Championships in their area. Interested parties can contact the host committee via ISSA secretary Eileen Coffey on 087-7138846.


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