BY JOHN SEXTON
IT being the last agricultural show of the season in West Cork, people came out in their droves to Bantry on Sunday last.
Overcast skies failed to dampen the interest and enthusiasm of all those involved especially in the bloodstock and livestock sectors. In an address of welcome, the shairman of the show society, Christy Mullins (of bowling fame), expressed his delight in welcoming everybody to the show and said that its continued success would not be possible without the generosity of the main sponsors and indeed everyone who contributed in any way.
He had a special word of appreciation for Mrs Brigitta Wagner-Halswick of Rowa Pharmaceuticals for the use of this magnificent site on show day. He went on to pay tribute to his fellow officers, stewards, workers, judges and everyone who helped in any way, especially the show secretary Martina Hamilton, and he thanked Stephen and GillianO’Donovan for the show office.
On a poignant note, he paid tribute to three members of the society, Eugene Cronin, Charlie Dennis and Barry Murphy, who had passed to their eternal reward during the past year.
Pride of place in the livestock sector went to JJ Barrett and Richard Forbes of Enniskeane with their massive Hereford bulls and to the Moloney brothers of Dunworley. A breed which made quite an impact in the beef sector was the Parthenaise, which could be mistaken for Limousin because of their colour.
In the dairy sector, the Jerseys are beginning to outnumber the Friesians, the latter which were championed by Peter Kenneally of Ardfert, Co Kerry, but it was Michael Lynch of Lissane, who took the award for the best pair of dairy animals.
In the bloodstock sector, in Bantry ponies seem to dominate and we noted that, for this year’s crop of foals, mares outnumber geldings.
Bantry is a show which is pretty unique in the sense that it caters for donkeys, goats, and all breeds of sheep. We have heard of shows staging pig racing, but Bantry kept a large section of the attendance amused with sheep racing over jumps in an enclosed circuit.
It’s a show which always attracts a large array of trade stands and, here, Drinagh Co-Op stole the show with the All-Ireland hurling final on the big screen. Every time Tipperary got a score, the cheering could nearly be heard in Croke Park!
As usual, there was a choice of transport modes to the show, with many people travelling by ferry across the harbour. On arrival at the show, we met the chairman, Christy Mullins deep in conversation with Chris Coleman of Barryroe Show and, no doubt bowling occupied some of their chat.
We also met Kevin O’Regan and Paddy Hourihane of Carbery Show, Terry Adams of Courtmacsherry and John Cotter and Corney Buckley doing their respective jobs at the show.
Amongst the judging panel were Martin Ryan, (Thurles), Tom Maloney (Claremorris), Billy Barry (Barryroe), James Amour (Roscrea), Maria Byrne (Thurles), Patricia Hoey (Ballinasloe), Leo Mc Enroe (Virginia), Derek Lovell, (Knockbrown), Carol Adams (Courtmacsherry), John Holloway (Moate, Co Westmeath) and Sean McSweeney (Lissarda), who is building a strong reputation as a judge in the Holstein-Friesian classes. While rain started to come for the last ten minutes, all the major events were concluded and a number of the judges from Tipperary left the shores of Bantry Bay in joyful mood to return home to the hurling celebrations.