Double page spread in this weeks edition of the Sligo Weekender 24th July
Sligo Today.ie, our County News Website, have included an article relating to the Show Launch held on Sunday 29th June:-
The Sligo Champion, 1st July, and The Sligo Weekender, 3rd July, have also kindly supported the Launch event.
SLIGO COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SHOW SENSATIONAL SUCCESS by Imelda Ryan-Jones
On Saturday 19th July Riverstown attracted a large crowd of visitors to join in the annual celebrations of the Sligo County Agricultural Show. Yet again the magnificent array of animals, from ponies & horses, to sheep, cattle and poultry was a breathtaking site. “The care that the owners give their animals is resoundingly obvious” said Imelda Ryan-Jones, one of the many volunteers who help with the annual Show “and each and every entry to the wide range of Animal Classes was a real credit to the farming community.”
As well as entries to the animal classes there was a fine selection of handmade entries on display in the Home Industries Tent. “Every year the standard gets better and better” said Geraldine Coleman, another Sligo County Agricultural Show Committee Member “and it’s great that so many young people take such a keen interest in baking, growing vegetables and rearing hens for eggs.”
“I’m a very proud daddy” said Ross Wilkinson “my 11 year old daughter Kayleigh, who must have inherited Granny Wilkinson’s baking genes, won two 1st‘s, a 2nd and a 3rd for her wonderful baking. She is over the moon.”
The children’s art competition was strongly supported by Taunagh NS in Riverstown village, Coolbock NS, Sooey NS, Kilross NS and the Girls NS in Collooney. “All the children had free entry to this competition” said John Cawley of the Show Committee “and we will be visiting the schools to award the children their medals at school in September.”
Michael Duke won the ‘Less Litter on Rural Roads’ in the Environmental Awareness Section with his creative piece made from recycled materials, with wording ‘Hey dude, don’t be rude, bring it to the bin and let the hedgerow sing’.
Local author Cían Harte was selling his recently published book ‘Soldiers of Sligo’ and chatting to the Show visitors about his work. “I was delighted to purchase a copy of Cían’s book” said Cllr. Thomas Healy “I can tell it will be a good read and will be of interest to a wide variety of people, so well done indeed to this young author from Riverstown.” Soliders of Sligo is an enlightening story of the many Sligo individuals who fought in a wide range of the world’s most well known wars on both sides of the Atlantic and is on sale in Liber Book Shop on O’Connell Street.
Families were delighted that ‘FARMYARD in your School Yard’ shared their fine array of farm pets that have been hand reared by Farmer John and Farmer Lucy. “They are booked for next year’s show already” said Maura O’Connor of the Show Committee “as they really compliment our Show and visitors love them.”
Rachel Quinn Ceramics ran successful creative clay sessions for children all day, and there was plenty of happy budding artists heading home with their handmade pieces made with the guidance of Rachel. “This is my first time at the Sligo County Agricultural Show and I’m very impressed” said Rachel “Imelda wants the Made in Sligo Craft Group to participate in next year’s Show, which is a great idea, both to promote the County’s craft trail and so visitors can view a range of work created by craftspeople in Co Sligo .”
Also in the Community and Arts Tent two producers from Beltra Country Market, Claire Wallace and Fiona Simpson, had a wonderful selection of handmade crafts and homemade produce for sale on the day. “We were selling our produce till late in the day” said Claire “visitors were delighted to be able to purchase our crafts and tasty treats, so everyone’s a winner.”
All the visitors and helpers were well fed on the day by volunteers Ann Lyons and her team in the kitchen; Helen Graham, Ina Creig, Kathleen Lyons, Evlynn & Carmel Wymbs, Philomena Kilkenny and Edel Lyons.
“The homemade brown bread and jam were delicious” said Pascal Mooney of Ocean FM, who broadcasted his radio show from the field between 11 and 2pm on the day. “The apple tart was superb” said Josephine Taylor, whose husband John was displaying memorabilia in the Community and Arts Tent. “It was pretty impressive to see the first letter posted in Riverstown from the 1850’s” said Imelda “and a money note from 1850 stating ‘Sligo Pound’, as well as a Sligo County Agricultural Show booklet from 1939!
This year was the 20th Anniversary since the County Show was moved to the green fields of Riverstown, when the curtain came down on the County Show in Sligo Town. Prior to the move the Show had been held in the Showgrounds in Sligo Town since 1908, hence the Showgrounds name! It then tested out other venues such as Sligo Racecourse, before the Show landed on its feet in Riverstown.
In 1994 Paddy Kenny, who lived in Riverstown, had the vision to ensure the survival of the County Show when he and the local Creamery Committee worked hard to keep the gates open so the wider community of County Sligo could continue to support this worthwhile annual event.
“Next year is the 21st birthday bash” said Chairperson Míchael Harte “so you can be sure that we will be doing our utmost to create a very memorable experience for all.”
Spectators were treated at this years Show to both a demo by the Green Dragon Karate Club and by Markree Dog Agility Club. Out on the field beautiful potted roses in bloom, in an abundance of colours, were for sale, a living present for all occasions including Happy Birthday Rose, New Arrival Rose and at €9 each and two for €16, visitors got a great bargain.
Bipedal Cycles had a great selection of bicycles, old and new, for sale. They provide free collection and return for servicing and repairs of bikes, so call Óige on 087 941 6198 for South Sligo and Fergus for north Sligo on 086 4077 663 if you are looking to get your bike back in action. Next year visitors who cycle to the 2015 Sligo County Agricultural Show will pay a reduced entry fee so another good reason to get back on your bike.
Tickets were on sale for the raffle of a 50 year old Honda 50 restored by the Geevagh Honda 50 Club to raise money for charity. The vehicle was on display on the day and wooed the crowd. “I’d say everyone wants to win that amazing machine” said Imelda “it looks brand new, yet its 50 years old! They should go into business.”
The Macra na Feirme FBD All Ireland Semi Finals Farm Skills Competition were held on the day. “This is our third year in a row to hold this competition at the Sligo County Agricultural Show” said Kieran O’Dowd, National President of Macra na Ferime “and we were extremely impressed by the hospitality and organisational skills of the Show Committee.”
The Bonny Babies, Little Miss Riverstown & Little Master Riverstown, as well as Glamorous Granny and Best Dressed Lady had a large amount of entries. Cara Tighe won Little Miss Riverstown, with Grace Kelly and her sister Aibhe winning Second Place and Isobelle Duffy Third. Brothers Marc and Tadhg Kenny won Master Riverstown, with Kevin Kelly in Second Place and Jack Willis Third. Winners in the Bonny Baby categories were Rachel Gillooley Under 6 months, Kate Smylie Age 6-12 months and Lexi Mullaney 1 year to 18 months. “To be honest all the youngsters looked great on the day” said Maureen Lavin of Aurivo Co Op who volunteers with the Show “so we now award Certificates of Achievement to all participants.” 8 year old Abbie Williams won the Wakiest Welly competition which was held for the first time this year.
The Show’s Glamorous Granny was 94 year old Vera Graham and winning ladies in the Best Dressed Lady award were Mary Taheny and Riverstown’s well loved local shopkeeper Mary Duffy.
Michael Harte, Chairperson of Sligo County Agricultural Show, said “I want to take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors who continue to support the Show, with McGinty Tractors of Donegal Town and Gerry Davey Agricultural Contractor of Ballygawley being the main sponsors of the day, without them there would be no Show. Sligo LEADER, the local businesses and residents have also been exceptionally supportive, and the Committee feel privileged to live in such a positive community.
Riverstown Pharmacy continues to sponsor Little Miss Riverstown, Gemma Crossan of Hot Head Hair Salon Little Master Riverstown and Glamorous Granny and Lough Bo Boarding Kennels & Cattery the Dog and Cat Section. Seamus & Patricia Cawley sponsored a Cattle Class, Jimmy Cawley & Sons sponsored one of the Horse Classes and Matt Jones Woodturner has sponsored one of the Sheep classes.
“The immense number of volunteers from the community that come out on the day to help us make it possible to run the Show” said Frank Meehan, a committee member since 1994 “the Committee salutes their enthusiasm and are extremely grateful for their consistent help.”
Photos taken throughout the Show will soon be available to download for free from this website as well as the full schedule of winners for all the various competitions held throughout the day. Please check out the Show’s Facebook page to view a wide selection of photos already posted.
This great family day out is a definite date for the annual diary, the Show is always held on the 3rd Saturday of July. The voluntary Committee now set to work on organising next year’s Show and look forward to entertaining the crowds in 2015.
The winning results of the Show Prize Draw are as follows:-
24’ LED Flatscreen TV from Expert Electric Sligo : Eamon Flynn, Ballymote
Lavins of Ballymote Mensware Voucher : Damen Kelly, Ballaghy, Charlestown
Coopershill Dinner Voucher : Michael Brehony, Ballymote
Cleavery Mill Dinner Voucher : Una Marren
Handcrafted set of Salt & Pepper Mills by Matt Jones Woodturner : Caroline O’Dowd
DIY Satellite Digital TV Kit, Kieran Mullaney, Riverstown : Jayne Pepper
Scania Jacket, Cawley Commercials : Owen Kelly
Bottle of Brandy : Maureen Laving
Bottle of Whiskey : Carmel Foley