A scheme launched in Clifden, Galway promotes the use of electricity by farmers to remove the fleece from sheep.

Efforts are being made in Connemara to encourage sheep farmers to purchase electric battery and mains operated shearing equipment in an effort to speed up shearing and provide a boost to profits.

The county development team with the help of the county committee of agriculture is giving local sheep breeders special grants of up to £300.

In Clifden for the launch of the scheme, county development officer Charles Lynch presents nine farmers with cheques.

The drive to mechanise is being backed by the Wool Board in an effort to speed up the shearing process. As part of the promotion, the Wool Board has also set up video demonstrations of wool care and good shearing techniques.

With a population of over 300,000 mountain sheep in Connemara, shearing them by hand has become a time consuming task. It is hoped that mechanisation can help to reduce the time required to shear sheep and provide a boost to farm incomes.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 December 1977. The reporter is Dermot Mullane.