In a welcome bit of new for organisers of agricultural shows, funding allocated for shows not going ahead this year can still be used in 2021.
Last year €600,000 was allocated to the Irish Shows Association by the Department of Rural and Community Development for roughly 120 agricultural shows which were to take place in 2020.
But due to the Covid-19 crisis the Irish Shows Association has recommended the cancellation of all shows until restrictions are lifted and public safety can be ensured.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said that where shows have had to be cancelled due to the current crisis, that money can be held onto for next year.
“Due to the extraordinary circumstances that we are experiencing at this time, in cases where an affiliated show is cancelled this year, I have asked the Irish Shows Association to hold the funding allocated for that show in trust, so that it can be used in 2021 if the show goes ahead.”
The 2020 Connemara Pony Show which was due to take place in Clifden from August 19 – 22 has already been cancelled.
But no word has been given yet about the world renowned Ballinasloe Horse Fair which will run from October 4 – 11.
“Any agricultural shows that can safely take place later in 2020 as restrictions are lifted, and in line with public health advice, can continue to utilise the funding available to them in 2020.“
“I want to thank the Irish Shows Association for working with my Department on this arrangement and for their on-going advice to their members during the Covid-19 crisis.”
Minister Ring said that agricultural shows are a celebration of “all that is good about rural Ireland”, and provide a great boost to local economies.
“Many shows have experienced disruption before and have bounced back through the efforts and resilience of local organisers.
“I have no doubt that this will be the case again when the Covid-19 pandemic has passed and we can gather safely in our communities once more in line with public health advice.”