Tuesday 25 May 2021

A hardworking group of Irish Wool Growers has withdrawn their uniquely Irish produce from The World Wool Commodities Market. Dismayed at the sharply falling price of their wool, this innovative group decided to find a direct route to market for their superior Native Irish Wool.


“The Galway “is Ireland’s Native breed of sheep. It is from her wool that the Irish Aran Sweater was created. Before the introduction of European and British Breeds in the ’70s, Irish Farmers were successful in earning a living from this Native Irish Sheep Breed; happily producing beautiful crisp white wool from this placid, dual-purpose sheep.


As the demand for the faster meat-producing sheep breeds increased, sadly The Galway Sheep numbers started to decline. Simultaneously, our tourist industry was growing and so too was the cruel reality of Irish Crafts being produced with Australian and South African merino wool and subsequently being labeled as Irish Wool Product.


Many of the woolen products in our Irish Woolen Mills and retail shops are being produced from imported wool. Unfortunately, in a lot of our tourist shops, we are also churning out  “Irish” Sweaters & Blankets made in China, India, Morroco, Turkey, and other apparel producing countries.


The production of these products outside of Ireland is diluting our Irish Brand, selling off our heritage, and disenfranchising our craft culture. In Ireland and abroad, the Aran Sweater and other woolen craft products are thriving, whilst Irish wool production is on its knees and Irish sheep farmers are expected to dump their wool once again this year. 


During a worldwide pandemic, an Innovative group of Irish Farmers could no longer watch their natural wool bio-fiber, which acts as a carbon sink and supports biodiversity in the Irish landscape, being dumped and treated as waste.


These Irish Farmers worked tirelessly over zoom calls and found a direct route to market for their beautiful Irish wool. 


Donegal Yarn, becoming The Galway Wool Co-ops first customer, recognised the superior quality of this crisp white wool, its provenance, and its importance as the cornerstone of the Irish Wool and Crafts Industry for almost 100yrs. 


In acknowledging the extraordinary qualities of our native Galway wool, Donegal Yarn has agreed to a very fair and equitable price for this year’s wool clip. 


Crisp white wool, of a medium to fine texture, Galway Wool is set to become a premier quality bio-fiber, sought after by International Designers and Creators of Home Interiors and Slow Fashion Garments.


On  Saturday, June 26th, 2021. 10.00 am follow the Famous Fields of Athenry to The Athenry Livestock Mart, Athenry Co Galway H65 KP99.  The Galway Wool Co-op Ltd will prepare its first order for 5000kgs of Clean, rolled Galway Fleece for supply to Donegal Yarn. 


Due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, This  Wool Meitheal is not open to the public but they are inviting members of the media to share with them their celebration of people working together to find a solution and to halt the hemorrhaging of Irish Wool as waste into The World Wool Commodities Markets. 


A hand shearing demonstration and some local craft wool spinning along with a cuppa’ tea and a sticky bun.:-) 


For further information on Irish Wool Growers and their work, their new website will be going live in July 2021.