The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has announced €700,000 in funding to support agricultural shows taking place over the coming months.

The funding, which will be administered by the Irish Shows’ Association (ISA), is being made available through the government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ policy.

The ISA has more than 130 affiliated agricultural shows which run throughout the summer and into the autumn each year.

The funding will support the return of the shows following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Agricultural shows

Minister Humphreys made the announcement during a keynote address at the Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show Sponsors Night on Wednesday (May 25).

“For over two-and a-half years, we lost something that really sums up everything that is good about rural Ireland.

“As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I know that our shows are intrinsically linked to that sense of community that rural Ireland is all about,” Humphreys said.

The funding will be made available to 125 show committees across the country.

“I believe it is of vital importance to our rural communities that we support the efforts of the show committees and the work of their volunteers,” the minister added.

“I hope that this funding will help put the shows on a firmer financial footing and provide vital support to the committees.”

Welcoming the announcement, Catherine Gallagher, national president of the ISA stated:

“There is no doubt costs have increased this year, it’s great to have this support and we are also grateful for the support the department gave us through the pandemic.

“The showing season has already started and I have attended four shows and the feedback from committees is their entries have doubled and the attendance has greatly increased.

“The sense of anticipation is palpable and from my experience to date I have no doubt this year will be very busy for committees up and down the country,” Gallagher said.