I farm: “500 hill ewes and 100 replacement hoggets on 270ac with my wife Trish. We have three boys under five years old, Máirtín (5), Micheál (4) and Senan (six months).”

Sheep: “We run 400 Lanark Blackface and 100 Mule ewes. About 100 of the Blackface are put back to Blackface rams to breed our own replacements. The other 300 are put with Bluefaced Leicester rams and the 100 Mules go to Suffolk. We’re 95% grass-based and we’re trying to reduce our meal feeding all the time.”

Lambing: “Everything is lambed outdoors and we usually start 20 March. We scan in January at about 1.7 and separate out multiples before twins and triplets go to fresh grass. Two to three weeks before lambing, they then get a small bit of meal. The singles are only on silage. Once lambed, we try to adopt some off the triplet ewes and these would be the only ones brought in until hardy if needed. All are moved back to grass for the summer.”

Market: “With the Blackface, you’re hoping for ewe lambs. We start to wean them in the middle of July and sell the speckled Mules to the Carrick prolific ewe lamb sale, through the Donegal Mule Group or Dowra breeding sales. The first of the ram lambs are ready from 12 to 14 weeks and we draft every fortnight. We sell off grass as forward stores at 42-44kg at Dowra.”

Atlantic Sheepdogs: “We run a sheepdog demo business with the help of my father Eugene for tourists from all over the world. It’s our farm diversification project. It started by accident when a local tour had some guests who enquired about seeing how the dogs work the landscape and has gone from strength to strength. It’s great to see people staying in the area after and we try to connect them with local cafés and restaurants. We have nine Border Collies in total between the demos, the farm and retired animals, and also compete at sheepdog trials.”

Quotable quote: “I’ve been on the national trials team 10 times and have been competing since I was nine. It’s a brilliant pastime and we get to meet so many like-minded farmers and friends from across the country.”