The annual Ossory Agricultural Show took place yesterday in Rathdowney, County Laois.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Tom Hayes T.D officially opened the event.

Hayes (pictured) complimented the organisers on the range of competitions and events taking place during the day. He said  “It is a remarkable testimony to the spirit of volunteerism that has seen generations of community members sustain this longstanding show and build it into one of the most significant and most successful in the region.

“The Ossory show is a unique family day out, in a lovely part of the country offering the visitor the chance to see some of the finest livestock around but also see a range of other activities from home baking to arts and crafts.

 The Minister added “Healthy, vibrant competition in livestock and in a range of country pursuits encourages higher standards of quality, and generates a great community spirit. My compliments to the organisers again this year for their voluntary input to making the show such a successful event’.

Hayes stressed the importance of the agri-food sector as a driver of economic recovery and added that in that regard the focus must be on achieving the targets outlined in the Food Harvest 2020 Report.