A €100,000 feasibility study into markets for Irish sheep wool remains unpublished almost three months after the date Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett suggested it would be completed.

The wool feasibility study, undertaken by The Agile Executive following a public procurement process, was due to be completed by the end of March, long before the commencement of sheep shearing this year.

Despite the majority of sheep now having been shorn for the 2022 clip, the report still remains unpublished.

Almost four weeks ago, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said the study would be published “in the coming weeks” and, on Thursday last, he said it’ll be published “very shortly”.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Patricia Ryan, he said: “The final report is now complete and has been received by my Department.”

Market opportunities

The €100,000 investment in evaluating the opportunities for Irish wool was first committed to in Budget 2021.

Its aim is to review of the potential demand in domestic and international markets for wool-based products, such as insulation and fertilisers.

Senator Hackett announced details of the wool feasibility study and the company selected to carry it out in November 2021.

Meanwhile, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) sheep chair Sean McNamara has again called for the immediate publication of the review, as “anger grows” from sheep farmers who are experiencing “yet another year” of “ridiculously low wool prices in Ireland”.