A number of agricultural shows across the country have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19 and in the interest of public safety.
Funding had been allocated to support the running of these shows and Minister Michael Ring has confirmed that this funding can be used for shows in 2021.
The Minister for Rural and Community Development spoke recently on the issue, saying: “Late last year, I allocated €600,000 to the Irish Shows Association to support approximately 120 Agricultural Shows around the country that were due to take place during 2020.”
“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.”
Minister Ring stated that any agricultural show that can safely take place in 2020 as restrictions are lifted can continue to use the allocated funding available to them.
“Agricultural shows are a great celebration of all that is good about rural Ireland. They provide a welcome boost for local economies and attract visitors to support our rural communities.
“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.”
He said that he hopes the contribution of his department will help shows bounce back in 2021, as each qualifying show will receive a payment of approximately €5,000 to support their event.
In total since 2017, the Department of Rural and Community Development has allocated approximately €2 million to assist with the running costs of the Agricultural Shows.