Co Donegal has most sheep in the Republic

There are approximately 3.31 sheep for every person in the O’Donnell county

Sheep pass by a Hawthorn tree in full bloom. Co Antrim. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
3.31 sheep to every person in Donegal PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

CO Donegal has the highest number of sheep in the Republic, an agriculture census has found.

The figures are contained in the Ireland National Sheep and Goat Census 2023 which was compiled by the Republic’s Department of Agriculture’s Animal Identification and Movement (AIM) database.

With 6,854 flocks, the number of sheep in the Donegal totals 526,658, comprising, ewes (363,632), rams (11,705) and other (151,321). Effectively, Sheep outnumber people in Donegal, where there are approximately 3.31 sheep for every person.

Donegal pipped counties Mayo and Galway into second and third place respectively in the census.

Mayo has 5,595 flocks and 444, 830 sheep, while Galway has 4,814 flocks, containing a total of 407, 388 sheep.

The county with the fewest sheep is Limerick with 18,437. In total, the Republic has 41,592 flocks and 3,722,754 sheep.

The census also revealed the greatest number of mountain sheep was in Donegal – 313,070 – as was the greatest number of mountain cross sheep – 114, 605.

Also containing data in relation to goats, the census recorded that the greatest number of goats was kept in Tipperary – 708 – followed by Cork with 592.