as it moves to Castle Irvine
Fermanagh County Show will have a new home in 2023.
The two-day event will be staged at Castle Irvine, Necarne, near Irvinestown with new weekend dates of Friday and Saturday, 11th and 12th August.
The organisers of the Show, County Fermanagh Farming Society Ltd, which was established in 1836, made the announcement about the new show format this week.
The Chairman of Fermanagh Farming Society, Mrs Ann Orr, explained that the new showgrounds and new weekend dates offer lots of new opportunities for the popular County Show, the last agricultural show in the Northern Ireland Shows Association calendar.
She said; “In 13 years the County Fermanagh Farming Society will celebrate its 200th Anniversary, no mean feat for a rural organisation managed by volunteers. Generations of local families have their heart in Fermanagh County Show and have seen much change over their lifetimes and that of their ancestors. Moving from the Fairgreen and the Broadmeadow in 1994 to the new showgrounds at Lackaboy was a key move to grow the show further to add new elements as we were allowed to use the facilities of the Exhibition and Auction Centre along with our own fabulous Prunty Pitch showgrounds. The Johnston family have been instrumental in their wholehearted support of the Society since 1950 and this has been a very strong partnership of which we are very proud.”
“We know that Covid-19 impacted all agricultural shows but it was this affect that actually brought about the mindset that we have 187 years under our belt and a 200th Anniversary on the horizon to plan for and what better way to do this than to gasp this wonderful opportunity offered to us recently to grow Fermanagh County Show into one of Ireland’s leading agricultural shows of the future,” she added.
Mr. Kyle Porter, spokesperson for Castle Irvine Estate, commenting on the news said; “We are thrilled to welcome the Fermanagh County Show to Castle Irvine Estate in 2023. The show is a highly regarded event in the community, with a history dating back to 1836 and we are excited to provide a new home for it at Castle Irvine. The facilities and rolling parkland, along with the magnificent backdrop of Necarne Castle, offer a unique setting for the show to continue to thrive and grow in the future.”
“At Castle Irvine, we host many events throughout the year and we are delighted to add the Fermanagh County Show to our calendar. We look forward to welcoming visitors to this beautiful estate.
“We can’t wait to see the future developments of the Fermanagh County Show at its new home at Castle Irvine Estate. It’s sure to be an amazing event.”
The last full Fermanagh County Show took place in 2019 with a scaled back event taking place in August 2022. The plans for 2023 are for a full programme of pedigree and commercial cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, dogs, schools, home industries and with a larger Food Pavilion. The pilot Classic Suckler Competition and Breeding Heifer Derby held last year was a great success and this will be continued as a herd competition for Fermanagh suckler farmers for non-pedigree stock. Herd judging will take place in early July and the best herds will qualify for the final at Castle Irvine on Saturday 12th August.
Castle Irvine Estate comprises 230 acres with unrivalled facilities including unlimited onsite car parking. The large indoor arena, the outdoor arena and walled garden will be ideal to accommodate large exhibits while the lawn at the front of the iconic Necarne Castle will provide a spectacular area for the livestock judging rings. Two beautiful courtyards will provide a great site for street food and music and with more space available to extend the popular Food Pavilion.
The rolling parkland on the estate also provides many potential opportunities to expand the Show programme in the next few years.