The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) is hosting a sheep sector crisis meeting in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, on Tuesday 21 March.

The meeting aims to address issues affecting the sheep sector and will take place in The Bush Hotel at 8pm.

Bord Bia will be in attendance, focusing on market outlook and the promotion of Irish lamb, as well as Oliver Crowe from CC Agricultural Consultants.

Crowe will look at maximising payments sheep farmers can draw down under the new CAP.

ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara said: “I am inviting all sheep farmers to come along and have their say on the current state of the sheep sector.

"As far as I am concerned, the sector is in crisis and we need to plot a way forward so sheep farming can have a future."


The ICSA is currently campaigning for a €50m rescue package for the sheep sector, to be funded through the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

"No sector is more deserving of assistance from this fund than the sheep sector.

"This fund is there, it’s available and the Government needs to do the right thing by sheep farmers and access this fund on their behalf," McNamara said.

The ICSA is also campaigning for additional funds to be channelled into the Sheep Improvement Scheme.

“The current payment of €12 per ewe under this scheme is not fit for purpose.

"The payment needs to be raised to the more sustainable level of €35/head, which would include €5/head for the correct presentation of wool," he said.

Sustainability, McNamara argued, is not just about the environment, it is about people too and their economic sustainability.

"The two must go hand in hand, but all too often all anyone wants to talk to us about is environmental sustainability.

"We are all actively engaging on that front, but the economic sustainability of sheep farming also needs to be addressed if there is to be any future for the sector," he added.