herald

Sunday 20 August 2017

Jennifer was just so 'down-to-earth' as she posed for pics

IRISH VISIT: Aniston among A-listers down at the farm

A FARMER who set up a sheepdog business has proved a huge hit with Hollywood royalty, with Jennifer Aniston, Calista Flockhart and Owen Wilson all falling in love with his pups.

Joe Joyce (47) from Shanafaraghaun, near Clonbur, Co Galway began holding sheepdog demonstrations in 2008 after he was approached to assist in the movie Marley And Me.

He has since built the business into a major tourist attraction and has attracted movie stars, musicians and tycoons to his small, isolated farm.

His pups have melted the hearts of some of Hollywood's heavy hitters, with actor Owen Wilson eager to take one home to his Malibu home.

 

Nephews

"He came around to our home and he was absolutely mad about the dogs, the sheep, the mountains.

"I always remember he took his shoes off at the door. He told us he never got much of an opportunity to sit in a family home and have a chat with people.

"He wanted to take a pup back home on his private jet, but we weren't exporting them at that stage," said Joe.

Jennifer Aniston also proved a huge hit after posing for pictures with Joe's nieces and nephews.

"She was so down-to-earth. She just chatted away with everyone. She was great with the dogs and sheep," he added.

Calista Flockhart also visited the farm with her parents and young son, Liam, when they holidayed in Ireland last year.

"Harrison Ford was due to join them, but he had to cancel at the last minute. They were all very nice and relaxed.

"I recognised her from Ally McBeal; she is absolutely tiny.

"She was just so nice and Liam was delighted with the pups. The young fella also loved feeding the lambs."

Joe also entertained the family of legendary singer Johnny Cash last summer, with Johnny Cash Jnr bringing his family back to the area.

 

REQUESTS

"He told me how his father and June Carter Cash used to bring the family to the region when they were young and nobody knew who they were."

Members of the famous aircraft-making Boeing family, who were staying in Ashford Castle last year, also visited his farm to see the sheepdogs in action.

Last year more than 2,000 people attended the small farm in Leenane for the sheepdog trials.

Joe has now been inundated with requests from around the world to export his dogs.

He has so far transported dogs to Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Norway and the UK.

More information on his farm can be found at www.joycecountrysheepdogs.ie

hnews@herald.ie

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