Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development has announced a €600,000 allocation by his department to Agricultural shows throughout the country.
The investment is being called an important one for rural communities and the rural economy, with 120 agricultural shows to avail of the fund in 2019. Each show will be eligible to receive a fund of €5,000 from the government, in an effort to support the events further.
The investment is being carried out in coordination with the Irish Shows Association (ISA) and the recipients are all members of that Association. Last year Minister Ring introduced similar funding to support agricultural shows taking place in 2018, in recognition of the difficulties experienced by shows in recent years.
Commenting on the announcement Minister Ring noted that this will come as a huge boost for the shows.
“This represents a substantial investment in rural communities and in the rural economy by the Government. I know that this funding will provide a huge boost to the agricultural shows that are such an integral part of our rural culture. They are a showcase for local communities and for all that is good about rural Ireland.” he noted.
“At the Bonniconlon Show in Mayo yesterday, and at other shows I have visited this summer, I have seen the impact of the funding I allocated for this year’s shows. I am delighted to be in a position to provide these shows with financial support to enable the shows invest in and improve their shows for the summer of 2019.” he continued.
Minister Ring continued by highlighting the importance of these agricultural shows to both the culture of rural Ireland and the economies.
“Agricultural shows are a great celebration of rural culture which contribute significantly to the local economies of towns and villages and their hinterlands across Ireland. They are only able to continue because of the commitment of local volunteers.” said Minister Ring.
“I know that many shows experienced difficulties in recent years and I hope that this funding will help the shows overcome issues that may have hindered them. Smaller shows have particularly struggled in recent years and I am providing these shows with the same amount as larger shows, recognising the particular pressures being faced by these smaller shows.” he continued.
Minister Ring then concluded by speaking of his delight at being able to announce the funding, before stressing the importance of these shows and the huge variety of entertainment on offer at them.
“I’m delighted to be able to assist them in this way for 2019. I look forward to sitting down with the Chairman of the Irish Shows Association in the autumn to review the benefit of the funding provided to all the shows in 2018 and to discuss the allocation for 2019.” he said.
“There is literally something for everyone. It’s not all about livestock; there is entertainment, competitions, craft fairs, cookery and other demonstrations and competitions. These shows are a real celebration of local heritage. I’m delighted to be supporting this opportunity to celebrate and shine a spotlight on the best that local people and their communities have to offer visitors from near and far.” he concluded.