Sheep Shearing World Record Attempt
Hand Shearing World Record Atempt “Roscommon V’s Mayo”
The event aimed at setting a Guinness World Record for the most number of hand shearers shearing sheep at the at the same time and in the same place , is one of the highlights of this year’s Roscommon Lamb Festival.
In Ireland on smaller farms hand shearing remained the norm until the end of the 1960′s. Around the same time hay began to be baled with square balers and the combine harvester began to replace the reaper and binder. All of this technology meant that the need for farm labourers was reduced as machines replaced men. Some people however remained with the traditional practice of hand shearing even up to the present day, as comically illustrated in the Specsavers advert on television. Hill sheep farmers still carry a hand shears to shear individual sheep on the hill where they might have been caught in briars or for some other emergency.
As stated at the outset the art of shearing goes back thousands of years with many references to the practice in ancient Isreal and in other cultures. Wool was a hugely important commodity in times past and has only been supplanted in importance since the invention of artificial fibres from the 1930′s on.
Non farming preople are facinated to see sheep being hand shorn and it remains a very popular demonstration at the Lamb Festival every year. This year we are attempting to set a new record as a follow up to our very successful knitting record achieved in 2011. We are calling on people nationwide to join us in this novel event, which is not a competition but rather a demonstration of what is an ancient practice. It will take place in Loughnaneane Park on Sunday 6th. May at 3pm. If the weather is unsuitable the event will be transfered to Roscommon Mart where it will take place under cover. Already people from Sligo, Galway, and Westmeath have registered along with people from Co. Roscommon. Brazil will also be represented as some of the Brazilian men resident in Roscommon are from sheep farms back home where hand shearing is still practiced.
Each participant will be entered into a draw confined to those shearing and the winner will get a pure bred border collie pup, kindly sponsored by Con Mc Garry, a man well known in the world of sheep dog trials. This is a valuable prize as Con only has the best dogs and breeding lines. To register for this event contact:
Liam Dolan 0876370351, Pat Naughton 0863203292 or Michael Tully 0876757252.
An attempt to break our record will be made by a group in Mayo later on in May so the Roscommon Record must be set as high as possible. We are hoping for over 100 shearers old and young to take part in this event. The committee would like to thank Keypak, Athleague for sponsoring this event.