Teagasc is set to hold its national hill sheep conference on Thursday 15 February at 7pm in the Glendalough Hotel, Co Wicklow.

The conference will focus on flock health, hill sheep breeding, biodiversity and lessons from the Sustainable Uplands Agri- Environment Scheme (SUAS) EIP project.

Teagasc director Professor Frank O’Mara will open the conference, which will be chaired by Teagasc regional advisory manager Ger Shortle.

Declan Byrne from Teagasc will outline the outcomes from the SUAS project. Byrne will also describe the blueprint that was used to identify the needs and requirements of the different upland areas and the different management approaches that were required.

Liver fluke is a health challenge frequently faced by hill sheep flocks, according to Teagasc.

Dr Philip Skuce from the Moredun Institute in the UK will present on sustainable control of liver fluke in sheep.

He will outline what diagnostic tests are available, the challenge of flukicide resistance, as well as ongoing research in this area.

Skuce will also discuss the challenge of rumen fluke and its control measures.


Talking about the genetic progress made in the hill sector in 2023, David Coen from Sheep Ireland will cover the latest breeding technologies.

He will look at the number of hill rams genotyped to date and what this means for the sector and also cover why a sire-verified ram would bring great benefit to commercial hill farmers.

Senior biodiversity technologist from the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Northern Ireland Nicola Warden will outline the work being done at Glenwherry and the performance and role that livestock - both cattle and sheep - play in maintaining the landscape and improving biodiversity.

The closing comments at the conference will be given by Teagasc sheep specialist Ciarán Lynch.

The hill sheep conference is free to attend, with refreshments served after the event.