Huge honour for Kilgarvan shearer

Sinead Kelleher

A Kilgarvan man who emigrated to Canada over 40 years ago has been honoured by the Canadian Wool industry for his shearing skills and support of the wool industry in his adopted country.

Originally from Knockaruddig in Kilgarvan, Jerry began shearing in Ireland at the age of 12 as a hand shearer, and over the years he won a number of Irish titles, including the All Ireland under-21 hand-shearing title in 1974. 

A year later he emigrated to Canada, where he continued his skill on the shearing front. He bought his farm in 1980 and reignited his shearing career in 1981, and for almost 40 years he has been a regular on the shearing circuit and has won many competitions including 'The Royal Winter Fair Shearing' competitions.

He is very passionate about the sheep industry and donates a lot of his time to education and promotion of the sheep and wool industry at all the local fairs and events.

Jerry has been shipping wool to the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Ltd (CCWG) since 1981 and is a great supporter of the organisation and what it has achieved for sheep farmers. The organisation chose to honour Jerry for his contribution down through the years.

"I am delighted to have received this honour," he told The Kerryman.

Jerry's talent on the shearing stage is in keeping with tradition in the Kelleher family.  Jerry's brother, Dan, has won All-Ireland titles back home and has also represented Ireland on the World Stage. His late brother, Mike,  was also a talented shearer and had All-Ireland titles.