Joe Wilson tells me about the risks of gathering sheep on the highest mountain in Wicklow

A couple of weeks ago James Byrne sent me a message to say they were going to gather their sheep off the mountain in Lugnaquilla at the weekend. The weather was forecast said that he weather would be good enough, so it was a great opportunity to go and gather in the ewes and lambs from the highest mountain in County Wicklow, Lugnaquilla. The weather is the dominating factor when gathering sheep using sheepdogs on the mountain. When it rain up on top of the mountain and if it rains it usually means that fog comes and visibility is greatly reduced. Visibilty is crucial for both working sheepdogs and gathering all the sheep. The dogs we take to the mountain are usually the well trained sheepdogs. As Joe explains, a dog needs to be familiar with the mountain terrain or otherwise he might have an accident or cause an accident for a sheep.
on Saturday morning I arrived at Byrne’s house in the Glenmalure Valley. We had some tea while we waited for everyone to arrive. There was 8 of us for the gather and we had 11 sheepdogs with us . As we were rising up the first leg of the climb by the waterfall, Mick Walsh and Joe Wilson and I stopped to catch our breath. While we were stopped, Joe told me a story about a thing that happened to him one year over at a rockface just across from us. you can hear what he said to me in this video.

We had a successful gather on this occasion. the rain arrived just as we decended the summit with the sheep.

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bringing sheep down the waterfall
Harry and Joe giving the others time


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