The farm: “I am originally from Claregalway and I farm alongside my Dad, Paddy. I also have a holding in the Burren, Co Clare, where I live with my wife, Neasa, and daughter, Yasmin. The farms are 45 minutes door-to-door and consist of 80ha. ”

The Burren: “We stock 80 to 100 breeding ewes. We keep the sheep up in the Burren and then move all the ewes down to Galway for lambing. Once the grass starts growing again in Clare, we bring the wintering lambs back up. A few years ago I planted multi-species mix for sheep up here, alongside some wildflowers, my goal is to hugely improve the biodiversity on the farm.”

Producing grass-fed lamb: “There is no meal involved in producing our lamb. I try to control everything inside the gate. We are not under any time scale to produce lambs, so they are left out to grass. We keep all our ewe lambs as replacements and the ram lambs are slaughtered in a local abattoir in Gort. It’s a farm-to-fork setup and we have our customers built up.”

Donal Monaghan and his dog Trixie. \ Sean Lydon

Lambing 2021: “Is going well so far. Everything is lambing indoors. We have over 40 ewes lambed out of 80. They are mainly Texel-Suffolk crosses.”

Sheep prices: “No sheep farmer in the country has enough lambs ready at the minute. I am delighted with the price. I sold some ewe lambs in Tuam Mart recently. I am liking the online setup and there is less blaggarding when it comes to selling.”

Wildflowers: “I am also an agent for DLF selling grass seed in the west of Ireland. Some people would know me as the ‘grass seed man’. We planted an acre of wildflowers this year on our land in the Burren – we call it the wildlife hotel. It is only when you sit back and watch it that you see the amount of small birds and animals that are living in these shelter belts.”

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