DEAR SIR, Tullow Sheep Breeders calls on the Minister of Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue and representatives of farmer organisations to make immediate representation to Meat Industry Ireland, Bord Bia and others responsible for the unacceptable price being paid for sheep.

The future of sheep farming is certainly in the balance with lamb prices today quoted at €6.20/kg while this day last year they traded at €6.90/kg with a top price of €7.30/kg achieved in the first week of January.

This price collapse, on top of increases in the cost of farm inputs in excess of 50%, is driving this sector into a road of no return.

Irish farmers, who are caretakers of rural Ireland, play a major role in the care and upkeep of this fine country, but the sheep will disappear leaving much of the lesser grounds unstable for other enterprises lying idle.

The future of sheep farming is in question and the Tullow Sheep Breeders Association calls on all parties involved to come together and put a plan in place so sheep farmers facing into lambing ewes in the coming weeks are given market reassurance.