Ram sells for Irish record price of €44,000 in Co Wicklow

Seven-month-old Suffolk ram was sold by Co Donegal farmer in ‘once in a lifetime’ deal

Handout photo issued by Blessington Mart of the ram that was bought for €44,000, the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in the Republic of Ireland.  Photograph: Blessington Mart/PA Wire

Handout photo issued by Blessington Mart of the ram that was bought for €44,000, the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in the Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Blessington Mart/PA Wire

 

A record-breaking ram turned heads when it was bought for €44,000 in Co Wicklow — the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in Ireland.

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.

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.

Handout photo issued by Blessington Mart of the ram that was bought for €44,000, the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in the Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Blessington Mart/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by Blessington Mart of the ram that was bought for €44,000, the largest amount ever paid for a ram at a sale in the Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Blessington Mart/PA Wire

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.”

Robin McIlrath, chief executive of the Suffolk Sheep Society, said it was an “excellent sale”.

“Richard’s record-breaking lamb was the cherry on the cake,” he said.

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