The majority of livestock farmers in the Burren would “love” to be full-time farmers, but it is not economically viable for them, a local farmer has said.

Speaking at the annual Farming for Nature gathering, Cathal O’Rourke said due to the profitability of livestock farming, over time many farmers in the area had to get off-farm jobs and move to a part-time farming model.

“Most livestock farmers around here would love to be full-time farmers. Unfortunately, they had to go and get [an off-farm] job,” said O’Rourke.

During a panel discussion on resilience at the event on Saturday last in Gort, Co Galway, O’Rourke said the local mart being a night sale highlights the number of part-time farmers in the area.


A beef farmer who sells direct to market, O’Rourke added he would advise farmers who would like to make a living from farming full-time in the area to pause and evaluate their current farming system.

“Maybe like ourselves, stop for a second. See what you’re doing and evaluate. Go on from there,” he said.