Farming on the Wild Atlantic Way
Atlantic Sheepdogs is a small family business, run by Martin and Trish Feeney along with their three little boys and an abundance of help from “Granny and Grandad”; Eileen and Eugene Feeney.
Growing up next door to each other; Martin and Trish both came from farming families. However, the Feeney farm was somewhat different from others in the area.
A Tale of Two Farms
The farm is to be found in Streedagh; Eileen’s homeplace and a stunning coastal townland in the north of County Sligo. Traditionally Eileen’s family farmed their sheep and some cows on the land there.
Streedagh is nestled beneath the dramatic tabletop of Benbulben Mountain, where Eugene’s family farmed their sheep.
This rugged landscape and way of farming led Eugene into the world of sheepdog handling and quickly onward to competing in sheepdog trials. This passion for sheepdog handling transcended the generations and nurtured an unfailing interest in Martin for both sheep and sheepdogs.
Champion Sheepdog Handler
The Annual International Young Sheepdog Handler competition selects the best of handlers up to 25 years of age. Martin became the youngest ever handler to win this competition, aged just 11 years.
Martin and his father have travelled the world since, both competing in and judging sheepdog trials. Both have appeared on the hit BBC television show “One Man and his Dog” while Martin has represented Ireland countless times on both an international and world level. To this day, Martin’s young handler record remains unbroken.
A flock of over 1700 sheep & lambs
Back at home, while sheep took second place to Eugene’s passion for working with sheepdogs; Martin and Trish set about developing the farm. Now, at peak summer season, the Feeney farm is home to a flock of over 1700 sheep and lambs.
A multi-award winning tourist attraction
In 2014, a Dutch tour guide enquired at Sligo Tourist Office in the hope of his group experiencing some sheepdogs in action in Sligo.
A good friend, working in the Sligo Tourist Office at the time, thought of Martin and asked would he like to welcome the group out to the farm to showcase the dogs in action.
From this small request, a big dream was awoken with the birth of Atlantic Sheepdogs.
Since then, Atlantic Sheepdogs has blossomed into a multi-award winning tourist attraction.