The Irish Sheep Shearers Association (ISSA) has trained up 60 new people in the art of shearing this year.

Following COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, there was a pent up demand from potential shearers for training.

Courses run by the association covered all aspects of shearing including turning ewes, shearing technique, machine maintenance, stretching exercises and nutrition, depending on the participants’ abilities.

Among the 60 people trained up this year were farmers inexperienced in shearing wishing to learn the skill to shear their own flocks and shearing contractors who wanted to brush up on their skills to rectify issues encountered over previous shearing seasons.

ISSA chair Roy Collier, who farms beef and sheep in Camolin, Co Wexford, in addition to shearing, said: “Interest has been strong with beginners, partially from the carry-over of people interested from last year.”

“We have not organised any more courses for the summer until the lamb shearing begins from mid-August, but there is the possibility of planning one, should the interest be made known.

“The courses run from half eight in the morning to five o’clock in the evening. We try to cover everything relevant to shearing, splitting students into groups depending on experience,” he said.