22 Jun 2023
Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces record €1 million investment in our Agricultural Shows
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Thursday, 22nd June) announced funding of one million euro to support 122 Agricultural Shows right across the country.
The record single investment in our Agricultural Shows represents a 40 per cent increase on last year’s allocation.
The grants from the Department of Rural and Community Development will support Show committees in staging their events over the summer season.
Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:
“I’m delighted today to announce a record one million euro in funding to support 122 Agricultural Shows the length and breadth of the country. Our Agricultural Shows sum up all that is good about rural Ireland. They are intrinsically linked to that sense of community that our rural towns and villages are known for. The shows are key dates in the summer calendar and are a central point for the agri-food industry, the farming community and our local artisan producers. These shows are also a fantastic family day out, where people come to catch up and enjoy a truly unique experience. With entries travelling from far and wide to compete, the local show has something to interest everyone through its wide range of activities and competitions.
I am delighted to increase the overall level of funding by 40 per cent this year, which I know will really help the organisers in ensuring the shows themselves are a great success. I want to thank and pay tribute to the Irish Shows Association, who I was delighted to meet in recent weeks to discuss their plans for the upcoming summer season.”
This year’s €1 million allocation brings the total allocated to Agricultural Shows since 2018 to almost €3.3 million.
The Department of Rural and Community Development will work with the Irish Shows Association to administer the Scheme for 2023.
Also welcoming the funding today, National Secretary of the Irish Shows Association, Jim Harrison, said: “I really welcome this investment from Minister Humphreys and her Department, which will greatly assist in the running of our Agricultural Shows. Our Agricultural Shows are so important in Rural Ireland for two reasons – their economic value and their social value. They bring great economic benefits to our rural towns and villages. And they also bring such social benefits – which can never be bought. I again want to thank Minister Humphreys and her Department and I encourage everyone to attend their local show this summer.”
Minister Humphreys continued: "I appreciate that without the effort of the local show committees, volunteers and local organisations, these shows would not be able to operate. This in itself is a testament to the great sense of community which remains a key feature of country life. This increased funding which I am announcing under ‘Our Rural Future’ will help to cover some of the operational costs associated with running these shows – costs which have increased in line with inflation. I’m delighted to once again work with the Irish Shows Association and I look forward visiting as many Shows as I can this summer.”
The National President of the ISA said "As President, I appreciate and I am also delighted the ISA has secured this financial assistance on behalf of our member shows. The incredible work by people involved helps to keep our rural identity both strong and vibrant. These volunteers have and continue to give their time for the betterment of their communities. We are indebted to Minister Heather Humphreys and The Department of Rural and Community Development for this package which will help "our rural future" to grow and thrive. I hope this relationship can continue in the future. Our shows are vital to the communities they represent, with great social ,cultural and economic benefits. I look forward to getting to as many events as I can over the summer to see these benefits in full."