The Old Irish Goat Society is seeking to hire a herder for goats in Howth, Co Dublin, where the Old Irish Goat herd will be used for grazing of the extensive heathlands on Howth, on behalf of Fingal County Council.

There is a salary of €45,000 available for the permanent role.

The herd will be based at a local farm and will be moved to various sites on Howth to reduce the cover of gorse, graze fire breaks and to create a more structurally diverse heathland vegetation.

The herder will collaborate with Fingal County Council’s biodiversity officer to determine the year-round grazing strategy.


There are a number of key responsibilities and duties involved in the role.

Applicants must be able to herd goats with a sheepdog or be able to move them to various heathland sites on Howth.

Experience in heathland management by means of grazing combined with practical heathland management activities (such as digging out young rhododendron plants and/or bracken control) is key.

Other duties will include:

  • Monitoring the health of the herd and carry out the necessary animal welfare treatments.
  • Liaison with residents and visitors on the goat grazing project on Howth and wider heathland management initiatives.
  • Maintenance of the paddocks (fencing etc) and base station.
  • Maintaining the national herdbook database.
  • The purchase of materials and consumables.
  • The role includes training in short courses and a full year of hands-on work experience, which will support career development in nature conservation/farming.

    There are a number of key skills and competencies also needed for the role including experience with sheepdogs, goat or hill-sheep farming along with experience of working or volunteering in the nature conservation, horticulture or farming sector gained within the last two years.

    A valid driving licence, including trailer, is also needed and applicants must be living or be prepared to move within close vicinity of Howth.

    Ideal candidate

    “The ideal candidate will be interested in upskilling goat husbandry and herding skills and a passion and enthusiasm for working in a farm setting, working with animals and the natural environment as the candidate will be required to work outdoors in all seasons, in a hands-on, practical manner,” the society said.

    The society has said that a farming qualification or relevant third-level qualification would be an advantage.