I farm: “The home farm was originally 35ac. I bought land to bring it up to 80ac and I also have a share in commonage close to the Ox mountain.”

Sheep: “I keep 80 ewes, a mix of Kerry Hills and horny sheep. We’ve just finished lambing and they’re all gone out to grass now. We got 1.5 lambs/ewe. The ewe lambs will be sold for breeding at either Ballina or Coolaney. The ram lambs will go to the factory in Ballyhaunis.”

Sucklers: “I keep 15 cows, Limousins and Simmentals, and run a Simmental stock bull with them. Calving is only starting now; I have two heifers on the ground so far. I’ll sell them as weanlings in Ballina or Dowra.”

Silage: “Growth is better than last year but it’s not mighty. I won’t close up for silage until the end of June. I like to get as much as possible out of it for the lambs first.”

Life-changing event: “My wife Sally died after giving birth to our youngest daughter in February 2013. She was 36. We have four children, Leanne (11), Abbie (9), Joseph (6) and Sally (4), named after her mother.”

New role: “I used to work in construction but after Sally died, I had to run the house, mind the kids and keep it all going so I went farming full-time. I had great help from family when my youngest was small but now she’s bigger, they all come out around the farm with me.”

Adapting: “The first year after Sally died we had a lot of losses at lambing but since then I’ve adapted how I do things. The ewes all lamb indoors now and I put in CCTV cameras so I can check the ewes from the house at night.”

The jobs: “All of the kids help out, they enjoy it as part of their day. They grape silage, bed down, watch the ewes that are lambing and feed pet lambs. Leanne and Joseph have a great interest. There’s a video of Leanne singing while working on the farm that’s gone viral.”

Therapy: “I find working on the farm very good for my head, it’s therapeutic to get out and walk the land.”