Ireland has scored an international coup with individual competitors and teams from China and Russia now registered to travel and compete at the 16th World Sheep Shearing & Wool Handling Championships.

The event, which will incorporate the Good Food Ireland village, was last held 16 years ago in 1998. A host of activities around Irish agriculture, heritage, food and music is planned for May 17-25 and over 40,000 people are expected to attend.

“The Sheep Shearing Championships are proof positive of both Ireland’s ability to compete on the world sporting stage and host events of international agricultural importance. The benefit to the national and local economy is tenfold with the event building friendships and cementing commercial networks that will cross markets and miles for years to come,” said George Graham, Host Chairman of the event and Vice Chairman of Golden Shears World Council.

The ICM Sheep Shearing Dome will be specially constructed on site and seat up to 1,200 people who can enjoy the shearing competitions, entertainment and bar facilities. Tickets from €10 are available online at and children under 12 go free with an adult.

The event will take place on a 25-acre site on the outskirts Gorey town. Activities planned at the event, include sheep breed shows, the ICM FBD Young Shepherd Competition, sheep dog trials, Queen of the Wool pageant in conjunction with Macra na Feirme, vintage displays, arts and crafts, photography and design hall, dog show, children’s entertainment, wool and felt demos, as well as local and national businesses trading goods.