THE importance of ringfencing funding for agricultural shows, 12 of which take place in West Cork annually, has been highlighted by FG Senator Tim Lombard.
After raising the issue in the Seanad, the dairy farmer, has confirmed the Irish Shows Association have €400,000 which was approved in 2019, held in trust for shows in 2022.
‘In addition, Minister Heather Humphreys has committed to a review of funding for Agricultural Shows in 2022.
‘I welcome this response from the Minister and expect the review of funding for 2022 to be completed before May when the Agricultural Show season begins,’ he said.
The senator described show societies as ‘a great celebration of what we do really well in rural Ireland.’
‘In my own constituency we have the Cork Summer Show, the Belgooly, Ballygarvan, Bandon, Barryroe, Bantry, Dunmanway, Carbery and Clonakilty shows, the Leap horse show, the Schull show and the West Cork breeders show.’
He said funding these shows was obviously a big issue, including securing insurance, which is why he had sought clarity on the situation.
The Department of Rural and Community Development had provided an allocation of €600,000 in 2019 to the Irish Shows Association to support the costs of running the shows that were due to take place the following year.
Some €200,000 was required at a time when the shows had little or no access to fundraising sources to cover costs like web hosting, domain name, storage of equipment, renting of land and office space, and bank costs.
The remaining funds, some €400,000, will be available for the coming season.
‘The Minister also committed to reviewing the funding in place for the 2022 season and I expect that process will be completed shortly,’ concluded Senator Lombard.