The slashing of much-needed funding for agricultural shows will “put many committees under real pressure” ahead of the busy summer season of shows around the county, it was claimed this week.
It is understood that funding being made available to agricultural shows in 2019 to alleviate financial difficulties due to adverse weather conditions has decreased by more than €200,000 from last year. The matter was raised in the Dáil in recent days with An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar by Deputy Eugene Murphy who highlighted the importance of such shows to rural communities.
“Financial support of just €600,000 was made available to more than 100 agricultural shows across the country this year and I would be very concerned at this reduction in funding levels. It is not the case that any show will lose all of its Government funding, but in many cases, the show will receive about €2,000 less than last year, which will need to be found elsewhere,” the Fianna Fáil Deputy told the Herald.
Deputy Murphy, who is Joint PRO of Strokestown Show, is appealing to Minister Ring to reinstate the funding in the coming weeks.
“There are four shows in County Roscommon, which will take place in the coming months. In Strokestown our show is one of the oldest in the country and one of the few two-day shows nationally. The amount of work and effort that goes into hosting these shows is phenomenal and with the rising costs of insurance and health and safety measures, this Government funding was vital to help with these costs. This should not be reduced. To reduce the funding from €800,000 to €600,000 at a time when costs have never been so high is not something that should be tolerated. We need to be supporting these events which are unique and not taking from them,” he said.