All Ireland & All Nations Sheep Shearing & Woolhandling Championships KEPAK SHEARFEST 2024

KEPAK Shearfest 2024

A weekend of sheep-shearing, family fun and more is coming to Mountbellew at the Mart Grounds in Galway this June Bank Holiday weekend, 1st-2nd June, 2024. This elite event, sponsored by Kepak Group, is expected to draw over 20,000 visitors and is being held in Mountbellew for the first time. Competitors from across Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Australia, and New Zealand will gather for the largest dedicated sheep event in Ireland in 2024.

“These championships are often referred to as the “Olympics of sheep shearing.”

Attendees can enjoy music, raffles, cookery demos, pedigree and rare breeds shows, crafts, and shopping. Event partners include The Irish Sheep Shearers Association, Mountbellew Agricultural College, and Mountbellew Vintage Club. Categories in the Sheep Shearing Championships include Novice, Woolhandling, Junior, Intermediate, Blade, Senior, Ireland vs. Northern Ireland, and Best Family Shearing and Woolhandling. These championships are often referred to as “the Olympics of sheep shearing.”

Brian McHale, Event Organizer from Mountbellew Mart, said, “This event will promote the West of Ireland and Irish wool to a worldwide audience”. The two-day program is packed with kids’ entertainment, fashion and beauty shows, food trucks, cookery demos, dog shows, crafts, the Irish Wool Experience, and shopping“.

The fun extends into the evening with two nights of live music concerts at “Martbeat.” Performers include Mike Denver, George Murphy and the Rising Sons, Michael English, and Cliona Hagan. Gates open at 8 pm.

Tickets are available at or . For event navigation, use Eircode: H53 HW98.


Fine Gael MEP Maria Walsh has confirmed that the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, taking place on the June Bank Holiday weekend in Mountbellew Co. Galway, will receive €10,000 in one-off funding.

“This event is an opportunity to turn the tide and revitalise the industry.”

Maria Walsh, MEP

The event, which is due to attract 25,000 international and Irish visitors, is the first of its kind to be held in Mountbellew and will be of significant economic and cultural value to County Galway.

Maria Walsh, MEP for Midlands-North West, said: “Following my correspondence with Minister Heather Humphreys, I am delighted to confirm that through her Department, we have secured a once-off funding support of €10,000 to assist the organising Committee of the All-Ireland Sheep Shearing and Championships taking place in Mountbellew on June 1st and 2nd.

“I am also happy to confirm that New Zealand’s Ambassador to Ireland Trevor Mallard has accepted my invitation to travel to Mountbellew and attend the Championships. Ambassador Mallard is keen to explore the further trade and agricultural opportunities between Ireland and New Zealand.

“A critical issue facing our rural agricultural communities, specifically our sheep farmers over the past several years, is the decline of our wool industry. The industry has been grappling with plummeting prices that have brought many farmers to the brink of financial instability. Despite their efforts and dedication, sheep farmers across the Midlands-North West are struggling to sustain their livelihoods due to the abysmally low wool prices. This event is an opportunity to turn the tide and revitalise the industry.

“I have worked with the Championship organising Committee over the last few months, and know that it is led by hard working volunteers who have designed a fantastic programme of family activities, entertainment, and educational programmes on the grounds of Mountbellew Agricultural College.

“Their vision is to showcase the opportunities and value the wool industry can contribute to our country, but they can’t do it alone. They need the financial support to deliver this vision, and I hope today’s news will contribute to making the Championships a roaring success, and enshrine it as a staple event in our calendars for years to come.”