Brexit ‘a unique opportunity’ for Irish sheep breeders

Brexit could be a unique opportunity for supplying sheep breeding stock to Northern Ireland farmers, according to one well-known Leitrim sheep farmer.

Kevin Comiskey, who is the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) National Sheep Committee vice-chairman and Leitrim IFA sheep chairman, outlined his thoughts on the matter to AgriLand.

“I think Brexit has presented us with an opportunity – we could supply sheep breeding stock to Northern Ireland.

Northern Irish farmers currently source the majority of their breeding stock from Britain – England and Scotland in particular.

“Given the fact that the border is now in the Irish Sea, farmers from the Republic of Ireland have a particular advantage over their neighbours in Britain,” the Leitrim farmer added.

“We must now more than ever push for this as we are an island where our fish can swim through the rivers freely, our birds can fly and thankfully our people can also travel freely.

“Now is the time that livestock that graze on our island can be traded freely.

If the political will is there from all parties, this can be moved forward quickly – and could be mutually beneficial to farmers in all corners of the island of Ireland.

“This should be highlighted as a unique opportunity with all the relevant departments before we enter the season for trading breeding stock,” Comiskey concluded.