Sunday, July 7, If you were not in Lisnamuck, Co Longford, for the 117th annual Longford agricultural show and country fair, then you are one of a small minority among Longfordians.
Huge crowds gathered on what was a gloriously sunny day on the farm of the Plunkett family, who played host to the event for a third consecutive and equally successful year. With temperatures averaging in the mid-20’s on the day, attendees were treated to entertainment of all kinds, including music courtesy of talents such as Seamus Farrell, Stuart Moyles and KTG, not to mention dancing from the Celtic Blonds.
Gerard Butler, a nine-time All-Ireland dancing champion, was on hand on the day to not only show people the basics in jiving competitively, but also to judge a national qualifier for the All-Ireland jiving championship, which was held at the show for thevery first time this year . This title, which was sponsored by Lough Ree distillery, was won by Shannon based couple Sean Beck and Caroline Deer, who will now go on to compete at the national championships in the Shearwater Hotel, Ballinalsoe in Spring 2020.
On the livestock front, competition as always was extremely high, with thousands of euro on offer for successful exhibitors. In the cattle, Ballymahon based farmer Marie McCormack had some success, as she won the commercial cattle show champion.
John Kane, a farmer from Ballinalee Co Longford, also saw his Belgian Blue Cross win its class.
Athlone based farmer, John Barry Moran, won four sections on the day with his Belgian Blue heifer, including the Baby Beef championship.
His in-calf heifer stole the limelight after John had been previously told she would not make the grade.
“I’m delighted,” John said.
“I was told she would never make the grade.
“I couldn’t even get a buyer for her last year,” He beamed, delighted with his decision to keep her.
Champion Charolais of the show was Noble Prince exhibited by Longford farmer Harry Noble. In the equine section, Longford’s Ciara Dennigan and her pony won the Champion Ridden Pony class, with Wexford’s Holly Crosby named runner up. Athlone’s Leila Okaman was named the winner of the Champion Ridden Horse class.
In the sheep, Strokestown based farmer and long-time sheep shower, Frank Gibbons, won the Charollais Champion, with Kenneth Bailey of Roscommon’s Lisnamultagh Suffolk’s winning the Suffolk champion and Overall Champion sheep of the show awards.
Children could try their hand at many of the fun games and activities in Lisnamuck on Sunday July 7, such as bouncy castles, face painting and more, if not catch a gaze upon some of the many crafts and trade stands on the day. There were also colouring competitions and pottery workshops, not to mention an abundance of sugary treats. Things then took a serious turn, as members of Newtownforbes and Kilglass karate club treated attendees to a karate demonstration.
Other demonstrations on the day included basket weaving, glass engraving and flower arranging, with Fiona Egan providing in-depth cookery demonstrations featuring the finest of local Longford produce. Awards were also given out on the day for the best dressed attendees, with the most appropriately dressed teens named as Orla Kelleghan and Josh McCormack.
With set dancing demonstrations, showjumping, animals of all kinds, a dog show, food and drink and most importantly fun all around, this year’s Longford show did not disappoint.
Good news also, as the committee have announced that next year’s show, the 118th annual event, will return to Lisnamuck for another year. Mark it in your calendar, Sunday July 5, it is most definitely not to be missed!