BY JOHN SEXTON
FOR generations, Clonakilty Show has been noted for bringing a bit of the country into town
Clonakilty Show has proved, for over 100 years, to be a magnet for all things rural and, year after year, it has maintained that attraction. There was a time when we would hear one farmer asking his neighbour over the bounds-ditch: ‘Are you going to the cattle show on Wednesday?’
For many years, it was referred to as the cattle show and one of the attractive events was the parade of prizewinners. Many farmers – men with hats and waistcoats, who hadn’t met for the previous year – would assemble around the parade ring, doing their own judging and it was nothing strange to hear one man say to another: ‘Did your son settle down yet? Well, I have a daughter that would be very suitable for your place’ and, before the next show, a match could be made!
The organising committee held a very enjoyable press and sponsors reception last week where the keynote speakers were Mayor of Clonakilty John Loughnan, Monsignor Aidan O’Driscoll, PP, and show president John O’Mahony. Mr Loughnan said that, shortly after coming to Clonakilty, he was roped into the show committee at the time when the principal officers were John Kearney Kingston, Bill Hayes and Don Hurley and recalled that the show dances were such an attraction at the time. Monsignor O’Driscoll spoke of his younger years when he would travel out with his father, who built Darrara College and Bandon Mart. Since he came to Clonakilty, he has found the level of organisation throughout the parish to be first class and foremost in that regard has been the show committee, who are a guiding light, and he felt it a privilege to be associated with them.
In an extensive address John O’Mahony outlined many of the events for show day, Sunday June 10th, commencing with the opening ceremony and welcome address, blessing of exhibits in the show grounds.
From 10.30am onwards, it’s on to the judging of the bloodstock and livestock classes, and people will be able to view the exhibits in the domestic, horticulture, cookery, arts and photography competitions.
Another notable feature is the Carbery Macra farm tasks competition, poultry pavilion¸ farm and work safety exhibition, All-Ireland Tug-o-War Championship, judging of the sheep and goat classes, sheep-shearing exhibition by Denis O’Sullivan of Teagasc, best-dressed lady, pet dog show, confined and open dancing competition, open air concert, archery, the show ride and drive, pony games, ISA All-Ireland Junior Home Cook Competition, West Cork Artisan Food Village, Gerard’s Mobile Farm, street entertainers, a carnival fun fair and amusements.
The show society’s hard-working secretar, Donal McCarthy, has worked tirelessly to assemble this year’s programme of events.