Northern Ireland news

Co Donegal farmer sells ram for record €44,000

A seven-month-old Suffolk ram has been sold by Richard Thompson, a farmer from Ballybofey in Co Donegal, for a record €44,000. Picture by RTE
Marie Louise McConville

A farmer from Co Donegal has sold a ram for a record €44,000.

The payment is the largest amount ever paid for a male sheep at a sale in Ireland.

The record-breaking ram drew attention during a sale at Blessington Mart in Co Wicklow.

Previously, the largest amount paid for a ram at an Irish sale was €38,000.

A consortium led by Dennis Taylor, a farmer from Coleraine, paid the record price.

The seven-month-old Suffolk ram was sold by Richard Thompson, a farmer from Ballybofey, who described the sale as a "dream come true".

Mr Thompson, who only started his flock of Suffolk sheep in 2015, said he knew the ram was special.

"I was expecting good money, but not that," he said.

Mr Thompson said his wife Marie was watching the proceedings online as the bidding war began and she "couldn't believe it".

He said that he knew what the previous record sale had been but never imagined he would break it.

"You always hope, but it's not often," he said.

"He was what everyone was looking for, what everyone tries to breed. He had a different bloodline, you're not breeding into the same line."

Robin McIlrath, chief executive of the Suffolk Sheep Society, said it was an "excellent sale".

"Richard's record-breaking lamb was the cherry on the cake," he said.

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