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At the launch of this year's Ennistymon Agricultural Show which takes place on June 5th at The Falls Hotel, were, from left; committee members Kieran O Brien, Michael Houlihan, Donncha Clair, Vincent O Brien, Mary Devitt and Margaret Healy. Photograph by John Kelly

North West Clare Agricultural Show to return in June

THE first North West Clare agricultural show in three years is going to take place on Sunday, June 5, on the grounds of the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon.

PRO Kieran Houlihan said that while missing two years of the show was disappointing, it was necessary.

“We were disappointed, but we were more than happy to go along with the guide lines that were in place. A lot of our committee members would be middle aged or older and their safety was a priority. Like all organisations we were curtailed but it was for the benefit of all.”

Some things are different after the pandemic and he feels there may be more entries in some of the classes.

“We’re hoping to see a large turnout in home produce classes. A lot of people took on lockdown projects and got interested in gardening and fowl and that kind of thing, so we’re hoping there will be an increase in those classes.

“Maybe even the dog show, a lot of people got dogs as pets during the lockdown so hopefully we’ll see those people coming on the day.”

There have been major cost increases for farmers, but he hopes the standard of cattle on display will remain high.

“We understand the challenges that are there in farming at the moment, with the increase of cost of fertiliser and feed and that. We hope that the standard will be maintained in the beef cattle, the show was known for a very high turnout and display of beef cattle and we hope that’ll be maintained on the day.

“Also the Connemara ponies are seeing a huge resurgence in interest, their price has picked up greatly from where they were a number of years ago so we expect to see a good turnout of those as well.”

There will also be plenty of novelty activities and fun for children.

“We’ve tried to include attractions for kids, we’ll have a bouncy castle and amuesements, there’ll be a children’s tug of war in the afternoon that’s open to all primary schools in the locality.

“A local business here that sells excavators is bringing along a mini digger so we’re going to have a mini digger skills competition, to see if you can pick up a football of a parking cone, it’s just something different to see and partake in on the day.”

Those who have passed away since the last show will be remembered with a Mass being offered in their memory at Ennistymon Church the night before the show.

“We’re very grateful to the McCarthy family for giving us the permission to use the grounds on the day.

“It’s the 45th year of the show in Ennistymon and we’ve a long tradition of working with the McCarthy family, we’re very privileged to use their grounds,” Kieran concluded.

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.