The Galway Wool Co-op
We are a farmer-owned and run co-operative supplying Galway Wool which is an Irish grown bio-fibre. Galway Wool is rare heritage wool grown with care and pride from our native Irish Breed of Sheep.
Our farmers, who are proud of their Irish heritage, know that healthy sheep are happy and productive animals. We work with care and compassion, to shepherd our flocks in tandem with nature.
All our wool comes from Pure Bred Galway Sheep that have a Registered Pedigree, ensuring our partners are producing and creating with authentic Native Irish Wool.
Sustainability and supply chain transparency are increasingly important factors for consumers.
We believe the consumer deserves the highest standard of integrity and traceability when it comes to their woolen products.
We founded The Galway Wool Co-op to restore the cultural integrity of Native Irish Wool and to provide the consumer with an unrivaled provenance in their woolen products.
- Re-establish the Cultural Integrity of Irish Wool.
- Restore a consistent route to market for Native Irish Galway Wool.
- Provide Educational & Peer Support for Wool Growers who are new or existing owners of Galway Sheep.
- Owned and operated for the benefit of members, the wider community, and the environment.
Benefits to the Environment
Using wool from the Galway, Ireland’s native sheep, will reduce the carbon emissions associated with imported wool and its transportation across the globe. The promotion of this native breed of sheep has the potential to increase farm biodiversity and the use of heritage breeds for conservation grazing.
Following research carried out at NUI Galway by Blatnaid Gallagher MSc and Matty Carrol MSc; members of The Galway Sheep Breeders Association were invited by Blatnaid Gallagher to become founders of The Galway Wool Co-op.
- Martin Warde – Chairman
- Margaret Hegerty – Treasurer
- Blatnaid Gallagher – Secretary
Special Members – Dermot Connolly, Carmel Greene, Keiran & Bernie Shannon, Karl & Jerry Lynam, and John Hegerty. The group was formed during a world health pandemic in January 2021. Meetings were held in very challenging times via Zoom. The group did not meet in person until June 26th at Galway Wool Meitheal, 2021.
Meitheal (Gaelic word for a group helping another without favour)
On June 26th, 2021, 39 members of The Galway Sheep breeders gathered 5400 kgs of Purebred Wool at Athenry Mart. Co Galway.
The Founding Members and their families each worked tirelessly on the day to collect, weigh, and load the wool for delivery to Donegal Yarn.
In the tradition of an Irish Meitheal, the group provided light refreshments and entertainment for the suppliers and guests on the day.
Led by Pat and Eileen Murray, Oranmore, Comhaltas Ceoltoirí provided music and dance, whilst Seamus Kirwan and Sean Kilkelly demonstrated the traditional skills of hand shearing and weaving.