Religious festivals boost lamb sales

Two very different religious festivals are giving a boost to the lamb trade.

One is, of course, is Easter, during which lamb is popular on dinner tables.

The other is the Muslim festival of Ramadam, which begins on May 6th.

Ramadan is a month-long period of fasting during which Muslims do not eat or drink during the day.

But they eat in the evening after sunset to break their fast with traditional foods, usually featuring lamb or goat.

For the next five years, to 2024, Easter and Ramadan will be only two weeks apart.

This should drive strong demand for lamb at an early stage in the year, just as the new season lamb comes onto the market.

In Ireland, there are more than 35,000 sheep farmers, producing an output of €390m.