Charollais Sheep Society in central move for premier show

The Irish Charollais Sheep Society will hold its 29th annual premier show and sale at the new central venue of GVM Group Tullamore mart, Co. Offaly. The premier show will be held on Friday, July 26, with the sale taking place the following day at 12:30pm.

Tullamore will be very central for farmers who will be travelling to the event from all over the country, said Peter Rooney, PRO of the Irish Charollais Sheep Society which was founded in 1990.

The decision was made to move this year’s premier sale from Tullow to Tullamore to allow us to further expand our market.

“As a society, we have always enjoyed a good working relationship with Tullow throughout the years and ram sales are still planned to go ahead there later in the year and we have no doubt this will continue,” Peter said.

There will be approximately 220 sheep for sale on the day at the new venue, including ram lambs; hogget rams; hogget ewes; and ewe lambs. The judge will be Deborah Whitcher of the highly acclaimed Galtres flock in Skewsby, UK.

“The Charollais originates from Charolles and Saône-et-Loire region in the east central region of France,” Peter said.


“The Charollais sheep is a medium to large size breed with a pinkish/greyish head that is largely free of wool. They will excel in both lowland and hill flocks which make them versatile to today’s farmer and a dominant force to compete with. They are a polled breed with a wedge-shaped, well muscled back.

“Charollais rams can be bred with any breed of ewes to produce lean fast growing lambs. The breed has gained enormous popularity since it was first imported from France in 1990. At present, there are over 250 breeders in the Republic of Ireland,” said Peter.


“The Charollais carcass is extremely lean and well-fleshed, producing large amounts of excellent quality meat.

“The popularity of the breed has grown due to its easy lambing; fast growth rate; hardiness at birth; and high percentage kill out. This has ensured that the Charollais breed has dominated the terminal sire market for over 30 years,” Peter said.

The Charollais breed, he continued, has numerous advantages including:

  • Easily lambed, with less intervention needed at lambing;
  • Hardy lambs at birth and vigorous to suck;
  • ‘Real rams’ ready to work immediately – are not pushed;
  • Lambs grow rapidly and are quicker to finish;
  • Superb cross-bred carcasses for excellent conformation with higher kill-out percentages;
  • They make ideal store lambs as their weight is heavier, without excess fat cover – better grades;
  • Low labour maintenance, making them ideal for out-farming;
  • Superior quality replacement ewes.