The Old Irish Goat herd will be used for grazing of the extensive heathlands on Howth, on behalf of Fingal County Council. The herd will be based at a local farm and will be moved to various sites on Howth to reduce the cover of gorse, graze fire breaks and to create a more structurally diverse heathland vegetation. The herder will collaborate with Fingal County Council’s Biodiversity Officer to determine the year-round grazing strategy


  • Herding the goats with sheep dog(s) or transporting them to various heathland sites on Howth
  • Heathland management by means of grazing combined with practical heathland management activities (digging out young rhododendron plants and/or Bracken control for example)
  • Monitoring the health of the herd and carry out the necessary animal welfare treatments
  • Liaison with residents and visitors on the goat grazing project on Howth and wider heathland management initiatives
  • Maintenance of the paddocks (fencing etc) and base station.
  • Maintaining the national herd book database
  • The purchase of materials and consumables
  • Management of the annual breeding program
  • Liaison with Old Irish Goat Society, Fingal County Council and SAAO committee

The role includes training in short courses and a full year of hands-on work experience, which will support career development in nature conservation / farming.

Essential Criteria

  1. Experience in goat or hill-sheep farming
  2. Experience with sheep dogs
  3. The ability to work outdoors in all seasons, in a ‘hands-on’, practical manner.
  4. Should be prepared to live in the vicinity of Howth
  5. Aptitude for problem solving
  6. Good planning and organising skills
  7. The ability to work as part of a team and take initiative.
  8. An ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of people.
  9. A valid driving license is required.

Desirable Criteria

  1. Experience of working or volunteering in the nature conservation, horticulture or farming sector gained within the last 2 years.
  2. Experience of working in the voluntary/charity sector.
  3. The skills and confidence to capture and share your experiences either in writing in a blog/ diary or by photograph and video.
  4. Knowledge of Microsoft Office.
  5. Driving license; (inclusion of a trailer is desirable).
  6. The ideal candidate would be prepared to upskill in goat husbandry and herding skills and live in the area.
  7. A passion and enthusiasm for working in a farm setting, working with animals or in food production and the natural environment to conserve wildlife.
  8. A willingness and desire to learn new skills, welcome supervision and advice.
  9. A farming qualification or relevant 3rd level qualification would be an advantage.
  10. Flexibility to attend training courses, workshops or events.

For further information and to apply please click here.


The old Irish Goat Society was founded in 2007 and is based in Mulranny Co. Mayo. In 2014, the Society pioneered a captive breeding programme to conserve the Old Irish Goat and enable its return to domestication and utility. The society runs and education and awareness programme at the Old Irish Goat Visitor Centre, on the Wild Atlantic Way, Mulranny, Co Mayo. The society has conducted several genetic and historical research projects into the origins and global place of the Old Irish Goat, guided primarily by the Precautionary Principle of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity.

The society is committed to creating an organisation that recognises and truly values individual differences and identities. We value diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive culture where everyone is able to be themselves and to reach their full potential. We want our people to flourish, just like nature! This role is based in Howth, a beautiful seaside village in close proximity to Dublin City and Airport.