Almost 500 sheep are sheared in record time during the All Ireland Sheep Shearing Final held in Tuam.

Sixty competitors are taking part in the All Ireland Sheep Shearing Championship held at Tuam Livestock Mart in County Galway.

Judge Owen O'Brien says they are looking for a shearer who has good style and control and who can clip without a second clip or skin cuts to the sheep.

Judge Phyllis Bolger is a three time winner of the  All-Ireland Sheep Shearing Championship. She is adamant there is

No difference if you’re a woman or if you’re a man when you are shearing, you have to have control first.

Judge Pat Bobbit has nothing but praise for Phyllis Bolger.

I’d rate her one of the finest shearers in Europe.

In particular,

She had a natural flare and she had beautiful stroke with the shears she was just an absolute naturalist.

In competition, control is important, as is speed. The fastest Irish record is around 70 seconds a sheep. Pat Bobbit says a number of competitors sacrifice quality for speed and middle aged competitors tend to do better overall.

The championship is organised by the Cortoon branch of Macra na Feirme and it has numerous side events including the selection of the 1985 Wool Queen Angela Flynn.

The champion shearer is Billy Donovan from Craughwell in County Galway with his brother Mark in second place. Seamus Brannick from Hollymount in County Mayo is third.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 June 1985. The reporter is Peter McNiff.