Hunt for All-Ireland sheep shearing competition host
"Hollywood has more All-Ireland's than anywhere else." Chairman of the Irish Sheep Shearer's Association (ISSA), Tom Dunne is not talking about the glamorous Los Angeles suburb, instead he is referring to his own native village in the Wicklow Gap, which is known for producing its fair share of All-Ireland sheep shearing champions over the years.
While Tom previously competed, his own father Pat won four All-Ireland sheep shearing titles.
"There used to be a joke there that Hollywood is the village with the most All-Irelands because of all the sheep shearing titles it has gotten over the years. It's a big sheep shearing area,"he says.
The ISSA is now on the hunt for a location to host the 2018 All-Ireland Sheep Shearing Championships.
Last year, the event was held at St Brigid's GAA centre in Kiltoom, Co Roscommon. From concert halls to rugby clubs, the event has been hosted in a variety of locations since it began in 1953.
"It's been held in a mart in Kilkenny, Punchestown race course, the Green Glens Arena and so many other places. We're not fussy where we hold it as long as it's suitable. We need a place that has a stage or is big enough where we can build our own stage and has room for toilets and food stalls,"he adds.
The event takes place on the June Bank Holiday weekend each year. While the All-Ireland lamb shearing competition takes place at the National Ploughing Championships every year, Tom said the committee is "unlucky" that it has to search for a new location, but its members enjoy the challenge.
"We're unlucky that we have to look every year as the Ploughing always attracts a huge crowd, but we don't mind where we host as long as it's accessible as people travel from the four corners of the country to our event."