The 2024 all-Ireland and all-nations sheep shearing and wool handling championships were launched on Friday night in Mountbellew, Co Galway.

The Kepak Group was named as the title sponsors of the event, which will take place on the June bank holiday weekend on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June.

Mountbellew Mart has been selected as the venue for the championships. Chair of the organising committee Michael Cunniffe told a large crowd in attendance that the aim is to intertwine the exciting spectacle of Irish and international shearing competitions, with lots of attractions for farmers and all families.

The multi-faceted event will have activities from dawn to midnight including 'MartBeat', a music festival attracting top names in Irish Country Music.


Michael heralded the support shown to the mart by the local community over the last year.

He said the way numerous communities in Galway rallied around the mart when it experienced financial difficulties in 2023 was testament to the strong community spirit in rural Ireland and promised that the shearing will be another chance to celebrate this enthusiasm.

Exciting line-up

George Graham from the Irish Sheep Shearers Association (ISSA) highlighted that anyone attending the shearing will witness shears demonstrate huge skill combined with levels of endurance akin to running back-to-back marathons.

ISSA chair Tom Dunne said Irish hopes have never been as high with regards shearers competing for the top domestic and international accolades.

He used the example of Irish machine and blade shearers competing in the final line-up for the world machine and blade championships in Scotland in 2023.

This, he says, was the first time that no shearer from New Zealand made the final line-up, reinforcing the feat achieved by Irish shearers.

Competitions on the weekend include Irish championships and all-nations competitions, where shearers from Ireland will pit their skills against the best shearers from Europe and further afield.