15,000 expected to flock in for sheep shearing championships

millstreet to host all-ireland and international events

MARIA HERLIHY

Published 21/03/2013 | 05:26

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Minister for Agriculture, Simon CoveneyTD (centre) with members of the Organising Committee, from left, Michael O’Riordan, Micheal Buckley, Hugh Sheehan, Sonya O’Riordan, Tim Creedon, Bernie Long, Don O’Riordan, and Paddy O’Keeffe. Photo: Donal O'Leary

THE only sound emanating from Millstreet in May will be the whizzing of clippers as it goes over the backs and under the bellies of 3,000 sheep.

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The slogan 'have sheep - will shear' will apply to the men and, indeed, the women who will arrive in Millstreet from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, as well as the UK and Ireland.

The highlight of the two day event will be on Saturday evening, May 26, when some of the world's elite shearers will compete against the clock to see who is the fastest and cleanest shearer of them all. The current Irish record stands at 22.5 seconds.

Ladies will not be left out of the action either and it is expected that a flock of women will line up to compete for the title 'Queen of the Shearers'.

Over 15,000 people are expected to descend on the Green Glens for teh All Ireland and International Sheep Shearing Championships 2013. The championship will be hosted by St John's GAA Club, under the auspices of the Irish Sheep Shearing Association (ISSA).

The national competitions will be held on Saturday, including the All Ireland junior, intermediate, senior, hand shearing and open events, as well as the Cork and Kerry confined championships.

In addition, the All Ireland wool handling and the All Nation Wool Handling Championships will also be held on Saturday evening.

The international events will be held on Sunday.

The chairman of the organising committee, Humphrey O'Riordan, said they were delighted to be staging the event, which was last held in Millstreet in 1981.

"This time around the championships are being held indoors in the best venue in Ireland, if not in Europe, where people will be able to enjoy the shearing," he said.

There are also a host of family events being planned in conjunction with the shearing, with details to be unveiled closer to the event.

Corkman

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