File-breaking Donegal ram sells for €44ok

A record-breaking ram caused a stir when it was bought in Wicklow for € 44,000 – the highest amount ever paid for a ram in a sale in the Republic of Ireland.

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

He said it was a “dream come true”.

The largest amount previously paid for a ram in a sale in Ireland was € 38,000.

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

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

His wife Marie watched the process online – and watched a bidding war for the ram from Mr. Thompson’s Ballinatone herd begin.

“She couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Mr Thompson said he knew what the previous record sale was – but he never thought it would break it.

Something like this happens, he said, “once in a lifetime”.

The Aries is seven months old (Blessington Mart / PA)

“You always hope, but it doesn’t happen often,” he said.

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

What makes Aries so special, Mr. Thompson said, was that it was very simple – his Aries came out of a good lineage.

He said, “He was what everyone was looking for, what everyone was trying to breed. He had a different bloodline, you don’t breed in the same line. “

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

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

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

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