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Minister McEntee launches the All Ireland Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today officially launched the All Ireland Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Championships due to be held in Punchestown, Co. Kildare over the Bank Holiday weekend on June 2nd and 3rd.

Up to twenty thousand people are expected to attend over the two days, with a wide range of attractions designed to make it an ideal family day out.

Minister McEntee said "This event attracts top Irish shearers, as well as the world's leading shearers from Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain who will be in action in both major National and International competitions.  It is a particular favourite among sheep farmers, but it also attracts a broader rural audience with a huge range of attractions to make it an ideal family occasion."

Minister McEntee also took the opportunity to restate the Government's commitment to the sheep sector.  He referred in particular to the funding provided for the targeted Grassland sheep scheme and for the breed improvement programme being implemented by Sheep Ireland adding "these initiatives have helped to instill confidence among farmers in the sector, leading to a stabilisation of the National ewe flock, prospects of increased output from the sector and improved incomes for sheep farmers."

The Minister concluded by wishing the organizing committee a very successful and enjoyable event.

Shearing1 PR 85/12 - 20.04.2012

Mr Tom Coyne, Chairman of the International Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Committee, Minister of State Shane McEntee TD, and Mr Billy Timmins TD.

 Shearing2 PR 85/12 - 20.04.2012

Back row l to r: Niall Quinn, Andrew Doyle, TD; Billy Timmins, TD; Andrew Corrigan, Tom Coyne, William Quinn, Ray Nolan, Tom Dunne. Front Row l to r: Cllr James Ruttle, James Reilly, George Graham, Minister of State Shane McEntee TD, Pat Corrigan and Lucy Mooney.

Date Released: 20 April 2012