Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces record €1 million investment in our Agricultural Shows

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces record €1 million investment in our Agricultural Shows

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced funding of one million euro to support 122 Agricultural Shows right across the country.

The record single investment in our Agricultural Shows represents a 40 per cent increase on last year’s allocation.

The grants from the Department of Rural and Community Development will support Show committees in staging their events over the summer season.

Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:

“I’m delighted today to announce a record one million euro in funding to support 122 Agricultural Shows the length and breadth of the country. Our Agricultural Shows sum up all that is good about rural Ireland. They are intrinsically linked to that sense of community that our rural towns and villages are known for. The shows are key dates in the summer calendar and are a central point for the agri-food industry, the farming community and our local artisan producers. These shows are also a fantastic family day out, where people come to catch up and enjoy a truly unique experience.”

“With entries travelling from far and wide to compete, the local show has something to interest everyone through its wide range of activities and competitions. I am delighted to increase the overall level of funding by 40 per cent this year, which I know will really help the organisers in ensuring the shows themselves are a great success. I want to thank and pay tribute to the Irish Shows Association, who I was delighted to meet in recent weeks to discuss their plans for the upcoming summer season.”

This year’s €1 million allocation brings the total allocated to Agricultural Shows since 2018 to almost €3.3 million.

The Department of Rural and Community Development will work with the Irish Shows Association to administer the Scheme for 2023.

Welcoming the funding today, National Secretary of the Irish Shows Association, Jim Harrison, said:

“I really welcome this investment from Minister Humphreys and her Department, which will greatly assist in the running of our Agricultural Shows. Our Agricultural Shows are so important in Rural Ireland for two reasons – their economic value and their social value. They bring great economic benefits to our rural towns and villages. And they also bring such social benefits – which can never be bought.I again want to thank Minister Humphreys and her Department and I encourage everyone to attend their local show this summer.”

Raymond Brady, President of the Irish Shows Association added:

“Once again we are extremely grateful to Minister Humphreys and her Department for the support they have given to our member shows. This support will help our shows to grow and continue to host these vital, informative and enjoyable rural events, run by an incredible group of volunteers who want to contribute to ‘our rural future’.”

Minister Humphreys concluded:

“I appreciate that without the effort of the local show committees, volunteers and local organisations, these shows would not be able to operate. This in itself is a testament to the great sense of community which remains a key feature of country life. This increased funding which I am announcing under ‘Our Rural Future’ will help to cover some of the operational costs associated with running these shows – costs which have increased in line with inflation. I’m delighted to once again work with the Irish Shows Association and I look forward visiting as many Shows as I can this summer.”

The list of shows to benefit from this funding is available here.

The Agricultural Shows support programme is funded under Project Ireland 2040 as part of ‘Our Rural Future’. This is the whole-of-government policy for rural Ireland for the period 2021-2025. It represents a new milestone in the approach to rural development policy for Ireland and adopts a more strategic, ambitious and holistic approach to investing in and maximising opportunities for rural areas

The Department of Rural and Community Development works with the Irish Shows Association (ISA) to administer and distribute financial supports to each Show. The ISA is the official recognised body representing Irish Agricultural Shows on the island of Ireland.

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