The farm: “I am farming 180 ewes part-time just outside of Tullow. Myself and my brothers, Mark and Paul, are farming here since our father died nine years ago. They rear bucket calves and keep a handful of sheep. It would be very hilly ground, 1,100ft above sea level, but it is mostly in grassland. We would be farming around 100ac and I graze the high ground, which is about 40ac.”

Swaledale ewes: ”I started breeding Mules maybe 13 or 14 years ago. I tried all different types of breeds along the way and I found that Swaledale were the best so I just stayed with them. I think they are good croppers and great mothers, they suit the land that I have as well. It would be an unusual breed for this part of the country, everyone thinks I’m sort of mad.”

Shearing: ”I am only after ringing my shearer to see when is he coming. I used to shear them myself, but with work it is easier to get someone. The Swaledale fleece is always very clean, it doesn’t matter shearing them that bit later in the summer.”

Wool: ”I ended up burning some of the wool last year. Luckily enough, Ballinclea Mill in Donard, Co Wicklow, is looking for the Blueface Leicester wool, seemingly it is one of the best types of wool for knitting. I only have 15 Blueface Leicesters, they have a really curly type of wool.”

Southeast Mule Breeders: ”The group was set up about seven years ago, I was one of the founding members. I noticed farmers from this side of the country were travelling to Mayo to buy Mule ewes and I knew a few breeders around here that were breeding Mules, so I thought to myself that we could set up our own Mule group here and breed the very same thing.”

Getting going: “At the start, there were only three breeders in the society, but over the years more people got involved and last year our sale in Tullow Mart had over 800 ewe lambs and 400 hoggets. This year’s sale is on Saturday 4 September.”