At the Growvite Irish Texel premier sale in Blessington Mart 13 and 14 August, there is a change to the selling order this year, with females on 13 August after the judging at 6.30pm.

The males will be sold on Saturday 14 August at 11am, starting with the shearling rams.

All sheep will be inspected by a vet on the day of the sale to ensure they are sound for breeding and to give online buyers comfort when buying.

The sale will have ringside bidding and be available on the MartEye app, with online payments accepted.

The majority of the sheep in the sale are star-rated. If you would like a catalogue just text your name and address to 087-341 1913.

This will also give you the names and addresses of people in your area selling in the sale if you want to see the sheep beforehand and buy online from the comfort of your own home.


Transport can be arranged for any sheep purchased over the two days. To organise this, please contact the society on 087-341 1913.

There will be an outdoor ring to give all spectators comfort to view and maintain social distance requirements.

Males and females will be on offer to suit all budgets. All commercial farmers are guaranteed to get something to suit their budgets.

Don’t forget, we will have our normal hospitality with the barbecue on the Friday evening before the female sale.

To view the catalogue click here

Butcher’s choice: Texel-cross lambs

Noel P Walsh is a third-generation farmer from Glendalligan, Co Waterford. This was originally the foundation farm of his grandfather back in the early 1960s.

In 2012, as an experiment, having previously used other breeds, he crossed his Blackface Mountain ewes with a Texel ram.

Such was the success of this cross that, in 2013, Noel had no hesitation in establishing his own Texel flock that could be improved on year on year, with the commercial market as his main focus.


In his opinion, the benefits of using the Texel with his Blackface ewes results in lambs with good conformation and easy weight gain.

Noel has built up a steady customer base that sees satisfied repeat customers coming back to him as their need arises.

Overall, because of the ease to gain weight with the mountain cross, commercial farmers in the area are at ease using a Texel ram.

Also, because of the good covering of wool, the lambs are better suited to lambing outdoors in March and April. Lambs are quick to suckle and on their feet quicker than other breeds.


Another significant advantage is their worm resistance and, therefore, labour time is reduced from not having to dose repeatedly and dag lambs prior to sending to slaughter.

Noel works off-farm, so labour input is a huge consideration in the day-to-day management of his farm.

In 2019, three lambs were sent to a local butcher, Joe Reilly from the Walsh farm.

As a processor, he is fully aware of what the customer wants and that is lean meat, good conformation and a good meat-to-bone ratio.

Texels tick all of these boxes and this ensures that Joe now comes back year on year to purchase lambs directly from Noel.

Finished on grass

Lambs are mainly finished on grass. A small amount of concentrates are introduced for six weeks after weaning.

Noel hopes to further extend his Texel flock. He notes that each year, the Irish Texel Sheep Society is increasing in memberships and this, he reflects, is a testament to the strength and popularity of the breed in Ireland.

Noel always buys his stock rams in the premier sale in Blessington due to the large choice on offer and will be sure to be there again this year and will also have some on offer from his own Texel flock.

O'Reilly's in Waterford

O’Reilly’s Butchers in Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford, is a fourth-generation butcher that was originally founded in 1890.

The business, which specialises in beef, pork and lamb, is now managed by Joe O’Reilly.

He is fully aware of what is required by the wholesale trade and ultimately knows that customers are at the core of the continued success of this family business.

Joe maintains that a traditional butcher is one that can carry the raw material straight from “farm to plate”.

O Reilly’s also have a licensed abattoir, which is one of the few remaining in Co Waterford.

Having their own abattoir is a huge advantage, as it can cut out the middleman and allows them to deal directly with their customer base by processing only the stock they want and, most importantly, what the customer inevitably wants to deliver the best value in a consumer-driven market.

Ticking the boxes

Texels tick all the boxes, as they are extremely well fleshed and with a killout of 23kg, they are ideal, as they have adequate fat cover, a good eye and require little to no trimming.

Texels are the perfect raw material as “customers want to pay for meat, not fat”.

For the consumer, too lean is not good and neither is too much fat. As a breed, Texels are traditionally light-boned compared with other breeds, so it is easy to get the desired killout weights and grades.

Another core aspect of the O’Reilly business is supplying wholesale. This is largely based on the supply of Texel lambs based on the demand for Texel traits.

The quality of the carcase that Joe O’Reilly and his team produce is what they take great pride in.

Visually appealing

When customers find products in trays that are visually appealing and are consistent in size to meet the needs of the consumer, Joe maintains these sell themselves.

Having access to lambs from their own farm, as well as farmers who they source lambs from, regularly ensures that they can consistently supply the best-quality produce.

Joe is emphatic in his belief that “Texels are the best and customers demand the best”.

Two key traits that stands out to Joe with Texels on their family farm is the hardiness in the cold and wet springs and the cleanliness of the lambs when they are ready for slaughter.

With such a busy business, the family does not have time for soft lambs that have issues suckling when born.

Therefore, he finds that one of best benefits that the Texel has at lambing is that they will be up and sucking in no time.