Padraig Donna

Padraig is one of the youngest sheep farmers remaining farming on the MacGillycuddy Reeks, farming an exceptionally challenging landscape. Padraig is fifth generation here having taken over from his late father John. Padraig farms the commonage Coomcalee, which is 1,472 acres with the other shareholders. This commonage lies at the foot of Carrauntoohil so great patience is needed with over 125,000 walkers annually, passing through. Some of the walkers do not understand that the land is privately owned so Padraig says 'sure I suppose how would they know unless someone tells them'. Dogs have been a problem in the past, litter can be a problem after large scale events and erosion is an ongoing issue due to the footfall, however Padraig has always felt working together towards a solution is better than trying to sort it yourself. He often gathers the rubbish left after others. He is supportive of the path restoration works that are been undertaken and helps out with site visits and mountain rescue if needed. Padraig like so many of the other farmers in the area works collectively in gathering the sheep on these high mountains, which can take a few weeks and co-operation is key. One of Padraig's neighbours recently described him as 'a great, honest young fella-and he's fit out!'-which you would have to be with steep climbs to the left and right. Padraig worries about the future and says he'll keep at it while he can, but every year it gets harder.

(Nominator: Patricia Deane, MacGillycuddy Reeks EIP project)

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