Minister Heather Humphreys with the organisers of the Tullamore Show
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced €700,000 in funding to support Agricultural Shows taking place over the coming months.
The Minister made the announcement during a keynote address at the Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show Sponsors Night on Wednesday.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “For over two and a half years, we lost something that really sums up everything that is good about rural Ireland.
“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I know that our Shows are intrinsically linked to that sense of community that Rural Ireland is all about.
“It is fantastic to see the return of our Shows this summer and I am particularly pleased to announce funding of €700,000 will be made available by my Department to support our Show Committees the length and breadth of the country.”
Minister Humphreys added: “I believe it is of vital importance to our rural communities that we support the efforts of the show committees and the work of their volunteers. I hope that this funding will help put the shows on a firmer financial footing and provide vital support to the committees. I’m delighted to support the Irish Shows Association and like many others I look forward to getting out and about and visiting our Shows this summer.”
The shows are key dates in the rural calendar and central points for the agri-food industry, farming community and local artisan producers. Key dates over the coming weeks include Middleton (29th May), Belgooly (4th June), Ballyconneely Performance Pony Show (4th June), Ennistymon (5th June), Westport Horse and Pony Show (6th June), Leap Horse and Pony Show (6th June), Ballivor Horse Show (12th June), Dundalk (12th June), Claregalway (12th June), Ballinalee Connemara Pony Show (12th June) and Clonakilty (12th June).
Minister Humphreys also wished the organisers of the Tullamore Show well as they prepare for the return of the popular event on August 14th.
The Minister continued: “Tullamore Show, along with all other Agricultural Shows has been sorely missed, and its return is warmly welcomed. I commend the hard work of the local organising committee. The organisers have shown great initiative and enterprise in the quality of the programme for Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show set for August 14th. It won’t be long coming around.”
Welcoming the announcement, Catherine Gallagher, National President Irish Shows Association stated: "As National President of the Irish Shows Association I warmly welcome Minister Heather Humphreys’ and her Department's continuing support with 125 shows set to benefit. There is no doubt costs have increased this year, it’s great to have this support and we are also grateful for the support the Department gave us through the pandemic. The showing season has already started and I have attended four shows and the feedback from committees is their entries have doubled and the attendance has greatly increased. The sense of anticipation is palpable and from my experience to date I have no doubt this year will be very busy for committees up and down the country. The upcoming events will add a little colour to the summer."
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