Sheep farmers on the Curragh can still have their say on the future of the Curragh Plains, as the final round of public consultation on its management commences.

Making the announcement Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney welcomed the commencement of a further round of public consultation in relation to the Curragh Plains consultancy project.

Minister Coveney said: “The Department of Defence, together with Kildare County Council, embarked on a unique collaboration aimed at finding a way forward in addressing the many challenges involved in managing and developing the plains.

"This final round of public consultation will comprise of a further survey, a webinar and a public drop-in event.

"The key objectives of the study are to implement best practice for the future management and development of the Curragh Plains.”

Details of the pubic consultations will be announced shortly on the Curragh Plains website.

The first public consultation received over 3,600 responses, demonstrating the strength of public feelings about the Curragh Plains.

Minister Coveney, in conclusion, took the opportunity to “thank everyone who has participated to date and I would strongly encourage further participation in the next round of discussions, as your input will help shape the future for this unique landscape”.

Sheep on the Curragh

Rules put in place in 2017 by the Department of Defence saw sheep counted and branded for the first time, in order to provide more visibility on numbers.

In the region of 4,300 sheep were permitted to graze on the Curragh in Kildare in 2019, new data shows.