Irish Working Sheepdogs 4
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Humans of Kildare – Michael from Irish Working Sheepdogs

𝙏𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙪𝙨 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙄𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙎𝙝𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙙𝙤𝙜𝙨.
We do sheepdog demonstrations for tourists, corporate groups… basically anyone that’s interested in coming to see us! We do up to three demonstrations a day and the demonstration takes about 50 minutes. We explain about the Border Collies – how we breed them, how we train them, where they originated. Then we do a talk on the sheep – the type of sheep that we farm and about the wool. We cover the whole year of a sheep farmer. In the demonstration we show the dogs working – driving the sheep through objects and more. It’s a bit of fun! If we have corporate groups, we let them do a bit of sheep herding. We show them how the dog did it… then we ask them to do it! We’re open seven days a week, all year round and yeah – that’s what we do.

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙖 𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙥 𝙩𝙤 𝙄𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙎𝙝𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙙𝙤𝙜𝙨?
They can expect to be educated, they can expect to be entertained and they can expect to have a bit of fun. We’ll show them how a sheep is sheered; we’ll tell them about the different types of sheep. We’ll tell them loads! Then with the dogs, people love to see working dogs in action and people are fascinated by it.

𝙏𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙪𝙨 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙄𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙒𝙤𝙧𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙎𝙝𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙙𝙤𝙜𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬.
We get visitors from all over the world. Even with Covid, since July we’ve had visitors from Guatemala, from all over South America, from islands off Venezuela, from China, Japan, Germany, America, Holland… you name it, we’ve had visitors from there. Only recently, we had a group of tattoo artists from Iceland who were in Dublin for a tattoo convention!

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙙𝙤 𝙞𝙣 𝙆𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙣 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙙𝙖𝙮 𝙤𝙛𝙛?
Go to football matches! My kids play a lot of football. I’ve four children, three sons and two of them are big into football. They’ve played for Kildare in the minors, so we’d be following that. I’d go to dog trials if I could find the time but usually I can’t. I’m into trad music also, so if there was a session on, I’d be gone to that.

𝙒𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚’𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙖𝙩 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙣 𝙆𝙞𝙡𝙙𝙖𝙧𝙚?
Ohhhhhh… my favourite place to eat out in Kildare? Crikey! It’s my definition of a success story – it’s the Ballymore Inn. It’s a very famous restaurant that’s open probably 25 years. A lot of famous people have eaten there and it’s just down the road from us so naturally it would be a place we’ve eaten in a lot over the years. I like Fallon’s in Kilcullen and Bardon’s in Kilcullen is another good spot to get a bite to eat.

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙜?
What is my favourite song? Janey mac – now you’re hitting me with a hard one. I probably don’t have a favourite song. I like music in general so I don’t really have a favourite song. If I had to choose one, I’d go for ‘Here’s A Health To The Company’. The Chieftans would’ve sang it and The Clancy Brothers would’ve sang it too. I can sing it for you if you want!

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩’𝙨 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙫𝙞𝙚?
Janey, there’s another one! I’m not that sort of a man, you know? One that would be ‘favourite this’ and ‘favourite that’. I saw a movie recently that I thought was a good aul’ movie – it was called Green Book. It’s a good. It’s a very good one. It’s about a black pianist in America and he had an Italian bodyguard driving him around back in the 1960s. The dynamics of it was very interesting. Now that you’ve put me on the spot, I saw that recently and I thought that was a good film.

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