There was a good attendance at the launch of the annual Elphin Agricultural Show which took place at An Bóthar Rua last Thursday night. The 42nd installment of the show will take place on the grounds of Elphin Mart on Saturday, August 31st with €40,000 in prize money up for grabs.
Speaking at last Thursday’s launch, Chairman Tommy Gormley welcomed those in attendance including local public representatives, Deputy Eugene Murphy and Cllrs. Valerie Beirne and Joe Murphy.
“I welcome the elected representatives, elected councillors for the area, representatives from the cattle breed societies, our loyal sponsors, Vice-Chairman John McDermott, Secretary Clare Connellan and assistants Michelle Shiel, Carmel Beirne, Anne Gormley and Pauline Jackson,” he said.
Mr. Gormley also welcomed Show President Cyril McDermott and “hard-working” committee members, stewards and members of the public before providing an outline of Saturday’s programme.
This year’s Elphin Show will feature an All-Ireland competition for Pedigree Charolais Baby Calf with a prize fund of €1,500; All-Ireland Baby Beef Heifer with a prize fund of €2,500; All-Ireland Commercial Breeding Heifer un-haltered with €1,500 in prizes as well as the Midland & Western Charolais Calf Final (€1,500) and the Limousin Anglo Irish Youth Finals.
There will also be the All-Ireland Pony Mare and Foal Championship with a prize fund of €500 and the Elphin Show Mare and Foal Championship (€500).
Away from the livestock, there are All-Ireland Championships for Treacle Bread, Muffins, Jam, Jack Russells, Puppies and Duck or Drake.
Meanwhile, the Horse section has 16 classes. Cattle classes include six Angus classes, five Shorthorn classes, five Hereford classes, five Simmental classes, and eleven in the Charolais.
Commenting on the Limousin Anglo Irish Youth Finals, Mr. Gormley said: “The finals of this annual competition rotates between the five competing teams: Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. It is a great way to increase young members’ knowledge and skills while also giving them the opportunity to visit new areas and make new friends”.
There are also 20 Sheep classes this Saturday and five classes for Goats. The turf section features three classes, and the Flower section has twelve, while the Farm Produce section has 22 including the Best Scarecrow (sponsored by John Ames Power Washing Services).
This year’s Show sees the return of popular sections including Cookery, Poultry, Dogs, Adult Art and Handcrafts.
Mr. Gormley described it as a varied programme which featured several new classes.
“It’s wide and varied and we hope we have something of interest for everyone - young and old – to make it a great family day out. We finish the night with Sean Fahy in An Bóthar Rua, where the raffle will be held,” he said.
First prize in this year’s raffle is a weanling heifer, second prize is a one-night stay with breakfast and evening meal at Kilronan Castle, third prize is €100 and winners of fourth and fifth prizes receive €50.
“Again, we’d like to thank all the sponsors of the show, especially our main sponsors Noel Sweeney and family; Elphin Mart, Fearna Nursing Home; the Callery family; the hard-working committee; stewards; Elphin Mart Manager, Gerry Connellan and his staff; Claire Connellan, Secretary; An Bóthar Rua for providing their premises and offering refreshments.
“We would also like to acknowledge a grant from the Department of Agriculture administered through the Irish Shows Association to the value of €5,000 and Roscommon County Council for their support,” he said.