Lonely Planet Writer

This Irish barber is going viral and attracting tourists by cutting hair with a giant sheep shears

If you’re travelling in a remote location and badly need a haircut, don’t worry; this Irish barber is going viral by showing you the best tool is the one you already have on hand.


Paul McGann, who owns Kildare’s Master Barber Shop, is possibly the only barber in the world to cut hair with a giant pair of sheep shears. While it may seem frightening, this hasn’t stopped people from all over the world planning their visit.

Lonely Planet spoke with Dean Kelly from the barber shop who said the interest has been enormous. “Many people from around the world have shared it and lots of people said they’ll visit Ireland and will make sure to pop in for a haircut”, he said. “We had one person said he was going to be visiting from Arizona this week and was going to come visit the shop this weekend!”

The sheep shear haircuts started, as many things in Ireland do, as a joke between friends. Paul counts local sheep farmers among his customers and after they teased him that he couldn’t handle big shears to cut hair, he decided to prove them wrong.


After acquiring his own pair and making special adjustments, he tried it out and was delighted with the results. While he normally uses it just for fun, he believes it can sometimes leave a nicer finish than regular scissors.

McGann is a Grand Master Barber, which in Ireland means he has more than 30 years experience in his trade. He regularly posts how-to videos on his YouTube channel and is keen to connect with the huge international community of barbers, offering support and workshops to younger workers. The trade has seen an increase in recent years with the rise of male grooming and trendy haircuts (including some more bizarre ones).

If you’re interested in trying them out yourself (with caution hopefully), you can even win a pair online. Follow Paul’s work online on his Instagram and YouTube.