BY JOHN SEXTON
THERE are certain events which punctuate the life of any parish, the annual agricultural show being one which binds entire communities together.
Many of these shows have stood the test of time, like Dunmanway Agricultural Show which is celebrating its 70th event this year. Its launch was performed by the Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Declan Hurley, in the Parkway Hotel on Friday night, May 25th.
In doing so, he recalled coming to the show in his youth and he paid tribute to its founding fathers, who worked so tirelessly to bring the show to the high pitch which it now enjoys. He added that this is greatly due to the fact that they have always moved with the times.
The show president, Martin Gildea, having paid tribute to the heroes of the past, had a special word of appreciation for the show secretary, Kitty Cotter, who works above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that everything is in readiness for the big day each year. ‘We are grateful to our sponsors,’ he said and appealed to all concerned to support them wherever possible.
The launch was graced by the presence of the president of the Irish Shows Association, David Sheehan from Bruff, Co Limerick. He felt honoured, he said, to be invited to a function like this and be amongst people, who for 70 years have stood loyally together in developing the show to the all-embracing standard it now enjoys.
Much of this, he added, is due in no small measure to the Trojan work being carried out by its secretary, Kitty Cotter. Speaking about the sponsors, Mr Sheehan said that they are the lifeblood of any show and they deserve the greatest support possible. He remarked that agricultural shows are an integral part of the life of rural Ireland.
Also present was Dominic McArdle (Barryroe), who is the West Cork representative on the board of the Irish Shows Association. Reggie Chambers, chairman of the Dunmanway Agricultural Society, was a capable MC for the launch, which was a very sociable event.
Dunmanway Show always has a strong entry in both the bloodstock and livestock classes, including the Horse Sport Ireland Show Persons Championship, sponsored by Horse Sport Ireland; the Brood Mare Championship, sponsored by Murray’s Tarmacadam; the All-Ireland EBI Cow Championship, sponsored by the Carbery Group; the All-Ireland EBI Calf Championship, sponsored by Munster AI Services; the Munster Pedigree Beef Bull Championship, sponsored by Lehane & Associates; the Munster Young Handlers Championship – Beef, sponsored by Collins Bros & O’Donovan Family, Gortnamuckla; the Munster Young Handlers Championship – Dairy, sponsored by Carbery Group & Dunmanway Show Society, and the All-Ireland Hogget Ewe Championship with a prize fund of €500.
There are also 15 classes for dogs, including children’s pets, with the Puppy Parlour Trophy for the champion dog. Over the public address system, Michael Ronan will described the equine entries, while Myra Dinneen will keep everybody well-informed about the bovine classes
Granted favourable weather, Dromleena Lawn is the place to be on Sunday July 1st, as Dunmanway Show celebrates turning 70.