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These sheep aren’t dilly-‘dolly’ing in clearing graveyard

March 31st, 2021 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Dolly and Dilly and the two lambs have taken up residency at the graveyard in Templebreedy. Inset: all ‘dollied’ up –but not much ‘social distancing’ – for St Patrick’s Day.

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WELL, hello Dolly (and Dilly) and goodbye Keane!

A group of sheep have now taken the place of goats at a Crosshaven graveyard in a bid to clear the grass there and they’re not doing a ‘baa-d’ job so far.

Last year, four West Cork goats including Keane – named after Kerry publican Billy Keane – took up residence to help clear the overgrowth at St Matthew’s graveyard at Templebreedy Church in Crosshaven. They had been brought in after the local volunteer committee behind ‘Templebreedy SOS (Save our Steeple)’ looked at an eco-friendly way of clearing the overgrowth there.

Cllr Audrey Buckley told The Southern Star that the goats did such a great  job of clearing the area last year of brush that the sheep have now been brought in to eat the grass as they can get it right down.

‘We got two female sheep, Dolly and Dilly and their unnamed two lambs from a local woman and they took up residence at the graveyard last Sunday week and are settling in fine and will be there for the summer. We’re also asking people not to feed them as they are there to do a job!’ said Cllr Buckley.

‘They’re fenced in and it’s all secure and we will be relying on community watch to look after them. We’re going to have a competition to name the two lambs just like we did with the goats last year.’

The volunteer committee found many hidden headstones last year thanks to the work of the goats. They registered over 400 headstones there that are now up on the website Heritage.ie.

Cllr Buckley is hoping that Dolly and her crew will prove just as popular as the goats were.

‘The goats – Oscar, Harris, Keane and Breedy – were great characters and even Keane, the puck goat, had an offspring recently and he’s been named ‘Billy The Kid’ much to the delight of Billy Keane who has mentioned us on several occasions on the Today show on RTÉ.’

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