Leo and Peter Burke at the Longford Agricultural Show, July 2
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has announced financial support for shows around the country, three of which are based in Longford.
The Government will give €7,000 to each of the 120 agricultural shows run by the Irish Shows Association (ISA) in the Republic of Ireland, in conjunction with the ISA.
Welcoming the funding, Peter Burke TD said that this is especially good for smaller shows.
“We have seen over the last few decades the struggle that smaller shows have had with attracting crowds and remaining financially viable. These are the shows that must be supported.
“Agricultural shows are a fantastic feature of rural communities and we must support them as a commitment to farming and agriculture. This pro-rata investment is a welcome move and a good use of government resources, with show management best placed to know where resources are needed.
“We have also seen in recent years how bad weather has had a hugely detrimental effect on agricultural shows, with the success of a year’s work often depending on a good spell of dry weather.
“While shows are wholly dependent on volunteer efforts and community spirits, there are also unavoidable expenses such as advertising and printing, ambulance cover, rosettes and trophies, and expenses for judges. This money won’t cover all of this of course but will contribute overall and I will be lobbying to have this donation installed as an annual payment from the department”