MEP Maria Walsh confirms €10,000 funding for the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing Championships

Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh has confirmed that the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, taking place on the June Bank Holiday weekend in Mountbellew Co. Galway, will receive €10,000 in one-off funding.

The event, which is due to attract 25,000 international and Irish visitors, is the first of its kind to be held in Mountbellew and will be of significant economic and cultural value to County Galway.

Maria Walsh, MEP for Midlands-North West, said:

“Following my correspondence with Minister Heather Humphreys, I am delighted to confirm that through her Department, we have secured a once-off funding support of €10,000 to assist the organising Committee of the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing and Championships taking place in Mountbellew on June 1st and 2nd.

“I am also happy to confirm that New Zealand’s Ambassador to Ireland Trevor Mallard has accepted my invitation to travel to Mountbellew and attend the Championships. Ambassador Mallard is keen to explore the further trade and agricultural opportunities between Ireland and New Zealand.

“A critical issue facing our rural agricultural communities, specifically our sheep farmers over the past several years, is the decline of our wool industry. The industry has been grappling with plummeting prices that have brought many farmers to the brink of financial instability. Despite their efforts and dedication, sheep farmers across the Midlands-North West are struggling to sustain their livelihoods due to the abysmally low wool prices. This event is an opportunity to turn the tide and revitalise the industry.

“I have worked with the Championship organising Committee over the last few months, and know that it is led by hard working volunteers who have designed a fantastic programme of family activities, entertainment, and educational programmes on the grounds of Mountbellew Agricultural College.

“Their vision is to showcase the opportunities and value the wool industry can contribute to our country, but they can’t do it alone. They need the financial support to deliver this vision, and I hope today’s news will contribute to making the Championships a roaring success, and enshrine it as a staple event in our calendars for years to come.”