Suffolk ram goes for Irish record of £37,000 in sale to NI consortium

A record-breaking ram turned heads when it was bought for €44,000 (£37,500) in Wicklow – the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in the Republic of Ireland.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 9:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 9:50 pm
A example of a prize Suffolk sheep.
A example of a prize Suffolk sheep.

The seven-month-old Suffolk ram was sold by Richard Thompson, a farmer from Ballybofey in Co Donegal.

He said it was a “dream come true”.

The largest amount paid for a ram previously at a sale in Ireland was €38,000 (£32,300).

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Mr Thompson, who only started his flock of Suffolk sheep in 2015, knew his ram was special – but never imagined it would sell for such an amount when he arrived at the Blessington Mart in Co Wicklow on Monday.

“I was expecting good money, but not that,” he said.

His wife Marie was watching the proceedings online – and looked on as a bidding war began for the ram from Mr Thompson’s Ballinatone flock.

“She couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Mr Thompson said that he knew what the previous record sale had been – but never imagined he would break it.

Things like this, he said, happen “once in a lifetime”.

“You always hope, but it’s not often,” he said.

A consortium led by Dennis Taylor, a farmer from Coleraine in Northern Ireland, paid the record price.

As for what makes the ram so special, Mr Thompson said it was quite simple – his ram was from a good line.

He said: “He was what everyone was looking for, what everyone tries to breed. He had a different bloodline, you’re not breeding into the same line.”

As for the money, Mr Thompson said it will all go straight back into the farm.

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