About the Cladoir Sheep Preservation Committee
Our Mission Statement
The Cladóir Sheep Preservation Committee has been formed and tasked itself with the preservation and development of the remaining Cladóir Sheep as their own distinct breed.
The long-term preservation of the Cladóir Sheep, by regenerating the breed through a breeding programme and eventually having these sheep formally recognised as Cladoir Sheep.
Aims of the Committee
Determine, on the basis of genetic testing and by means of an appropriate comparative analysis with other breeds, if the sheep identified as having Cladoir genetics have sufficient distinctive DNA to indicate the presence of a previously unrecognised breed.
Assuming that sufficient genetics allows for Cladoir to be recognised as a breed, to devise a breeding programme and management plan on the basis of ongoing DNA testing.
Regardless of whether or not the DNA analysis points to the Cladoir being a distinctive breed, it is the aim of the committee to record the methodologies involved in coming to the conclusions, having recourse to the findings of the geneticists involved in testing.
Devising a breed standard and Flock Book Rules if there is a genetic basis for breed recognition following which the Preservation Committee will endeavour to become a Breed Society representing the breeders in line with the structures to be found in other breed societies.
Objectives of the Committee
The goal is to develop a consistent national flock of sheep that has the characteristics of the old Cladoir breed
Join the Cladoir Sheep Preservation Committee
How It All Began
The Cladóir is believed to be the remnant of the old sheep breed from the Connemara Hills. After the Farmine, the Cladóir breed survived in very small flocks on the very long shoreline in South Connemara, eventually being displaced by imports of cheviot & blackfaced sheep.
Twenty years ago, Tom King of Westport, working with Sean Cadden, took an interest and he bought some Cladóir like sheep but he could find no purebreds. The Connemara National Park purchased Tom’s flock in 2019, some more sheep were added to the flock in 2020, these sheep that were DNA tested last autumn.
The committee owes it’s existence to the work of people such as the late Michael O’Toole as well of Tom King and Sean Cadden in trying to conserve the breed. The committee is composed of a cross section of people concerned with indigenous breed conservation in Ireland including members of a variety of breed societies as well as the National Parks and Wildlife Service centered in Connemara and Wild Nephin National Parks.
There are 30 females and 26 males in the 56 sheep with significant Cladóir DNA.
The Cladoir Sheep Preservation Committee would like to thank multiple people and organisations, including The National Parks and Wildlife Service and especially to Malcolm Noonan Minister of State who launched the programme in Connemara National Park in June 2021. Tom King of Westport, Kathleen and the late Michael O Toole Leenane. Noirin McHugh, Alan Bohan and Áine O’Brien Teagasc, Sheep Ireland, Weatherbys Scientific Ireland, Dooley Wools. The staff of Connemara National Park, led by William Cormacan and Martin Coyne. The generous financial support of the Genetic Resources section of Dept. of Agriculture Fisheries and Food is acknowledged. The Irish Native Rare Breeds Society have always given their full support and act as Treasurer to the group.