‘Making a Mark’: Has this young entrepreneur the solution for marking sheep?

Mary Murphy, a young entrepreneur from Co. Mayo and currently studying Government and Political Science in University College Cork (UCC), along with her twin-sister Sarah, has established a company called ‘Make a Mark’.

The product which they sell is a hand-held gun, which is used to apply marking fluid to sheep.

The idea of the ‘Sheep Marking Gun’ came about when Mary was marking her father William’s blackface mountain sheep on their home-farm in Crossmolina.

She said:

The product is sold in Ireland, the UK, France, Norway, Germany and the US, while we hope to launch it in New Zealand and Australia soon.

Currently, it retails at €60 which includes a gun and cartridge that can mark up to 500 animals.

Marking fluid has many advantages over aerosol sprays. These include a health benefit, due to aerosol sprays containing harmful chemicals. Marking fluid also lasts longer than standard sprays.

Mary is currently taking part in UCC’s first ever full-time Student Accelerator Programme; it has allowed Mary to work full-time on the business while providing adequate resources and expertise.

Recently, Mary was awarded a Women in Technology Scholarship programme – worth €30,000.


‘Make a Mark’ is currently developing new products, which are still at the infancy stage of development.

For example, there’s a Global Positioning System (GPS) ‘tracker tag’. It’s designed to prevent sheep theft and will alert farmers if an animal has been taken or attacked by a predator.

“Since being selected for Sky’s latest scholarship programme, the recent publicity has boosted sales for the company. We’re also looking forward to the National Ploughing Championships, where we will be able to promote it further,” Mary concluded.