27 May 2022
A Great Week for Agricultural Shows
The Irish Shows Association is very happy to report that The Minister for Rural & Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced increased funding to support the return of agricultural shows in 2022. Department funding issued in 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic halted showing activities for two years had been ring fenced. This funding has now been augmented to bring the total funding package available to €700,000 for 2022, which will benefit our member shows throughout the Republic of Ireland. The Agricultural Shows support programme is funded under Project Ireland 2040 as part of “Our Rural Future”.
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 2 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.”
We are delighted that our shows in Northern Ireland will also benefit from a £200,000 funding package through The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), as announced recently by Minister Edwin Poots.
Yesterday’s funding announcement comes just days after Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD announced a major multi-year investment in the Irish agricultural showing scene.
Over next five years, the Minister has announced that €250,000 will be invested in the grassroots showing sector with the rolling out of a brand-new class aimed at showcasing the best of beef breeding heifers. The new class will be administered by the Irish Shows Association (ISA).
The “Breeder’s Choice” class will be open to four and five star breeding heifers in two separate classes – traditional breeds and continental breeds. Pedigree as well as commercial heifers are eligible for the classes, which will be rolled out across the shows throughout the Summer.
Commenting on the major investment in the show sector, Minister McConalogue said:
“I’m delighted to work with the Irish Shows Association on this exciting, multi-year and long-term investment. This is a commitment from me and my Department to the Shows sector, to the quality of breeding cattle and to rural Ireland as a whole. I am looking forward to seeing the heifers and their owners in the new Breeder’s Choice Class at Shows across the country. It is also a commitment from the Government to continue to back rural Ireland in any way we can.”
On behalf of our member shows throughout the country, The Irish Shows Association wishes to thank the Ministers and the relevant departments for this recognition of the value of our agricultural shows to both the social fabric and the economy of rural Ireland. We are delighted that shows are back up and running and reported strong entries and record crowds.
The ISA has worked to build excellent working relationships with the various Government Departments and will continue to advocate on behalf of our members.
In response to the funding announcements, Catherine Gallagher, National President of the ISA said: “After a lapse of two years due to covid-19 pandemic, the Agricultural shows are up and running again this year. They are now faced with increased costs of Insurance, purchase of materials and hire of equipment. This has to be absorbed within the running costs of shows Through the intervention of the board of the Irish Shows Association we are fortunate that member shows are benefiting from increased funding procured on their behalf by the organisation. The increased funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development & Social Protection and the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine is very welcome. As president of the Irish Shows Association, I would like to thank Minster Heather Humphrey’s and Minister Charlie McConalogue for their support, which will help to defray increasing costs for shows.”
ISA National secretary added ““I am absolutely delighted that both Minister Humphreys and Minister McConalogue along with their departments have acknowledged the importance of Agricultural shows to rural Ireland and the agricultural industry. Department funding provides a welcome boost to all shows and will ensure that the shows are able to continue their great work”.
We are looking forward to a busy season ahead and wish all of our show committees the very best of luck with their shows.