Old Irish Goat and Kids Oil on Canvas

  • Artist: Mary McGrath
  • Dimensions: 50 x 50 cm (19.7 x 19.7 inches)


They arrived in Ireland during the Neolithic age, about 5,000 years ago. The Old Irish Goat was Ireland’s only goat breed until around 1900 and was often known as “the poor man’s cow”. The breed could give up to 200 gallons of milk a year.   They became extinct in captivity surviving only in feral herds where interbreeding with imported domestic goats caused major loss of the original characteristics.  A captive breeding programme is ongoing and the goats are also being used for conservation grazing to create fire breaks on Howth Head.

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