The sheep sector is losing €10.8 million annually with regard to the value of wool compared to back in 1988.

That is according to Kevin Comiskey who has called for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to make the results of the Wool Feasibility Study known, three months after it was due to be published.

Speaking to Agriland, the chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Sheep Committee said that sheep farmers are growing increasingly frustrated at the delay in publishing the results of the feasibility study and equally as much with regard to the decline in the value of wool over the years.

He said: “Following questions from an IFA Offaly executive meeting last night (Monday, June 27), we are still awaiting a response from the Minister of Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue and the results from the Wool Feasibility Study – which is very disappointing.

“I was doing up some figures and in 1988, I can remember it well, I used to get 70p/pound for my wool which would equate at the moment to €2/kg.

“We have 2.7 million breeding ewes in the country, that each produce roughly 2kg of wool on average. That’s 5.4 million kilogrammes worth of wool at €2/kg, which is what we got back in the day, which would come into €10.8 million.

“That is 10.8 million that is not there in the sheep sector at present that used to be there,” he added.

“It’s a hell of a lot of money and with the price of wool now only making as much as 20c/kg, it goes to show just the sad state the wool industry is in.”

Comiskey said that it is nearly a €11 million loss to the sheep sector and that it is time that the Wool Feasibility Study is published and further action is taken.

“We [the IFA] have been calling for supports to be made and if we are supported, farmers will supply wool in a good proper manner if they are properly supported for doing just that,” he said.