THE CAPPAMORE Show takes place in Portnard on Saturday, August 18 but it is much more than just one day.
Show secretary for the last 53 years, Paddy Ryan “Luke”, said the bond forged in organising the event permeates throughout the parish.
The 58th show was launched last week in Hayes’ Bar.
“There are many differences to 1954 but the core principles are still the same - it is run by the people for the people. It started as a local event but has grown to become recognised throughout the country,” said Mr Ryan.
The show committee have over 100 members and this is backed up further by the local community, he said.
“It is a big day in East Limerick thanks to that goodwill. We are living a faster life, recognised meeting places have changed and it is important to have one event people can get involved with.
“The social aspect of the coming together of 100 people creates a bond that permeates throughout the parish. It is a binding force. It is important in rural Ireland that something joins people together and long may that spirit continue in Cappamore,” said Mr Ryan. The move to a Saturday show day from the traditional Wednesday attracted 3,000 more visitors last year. And they are hoping to build on this success with another bumper crowd and record entries in the cattle and horse and pony sections.
There is something for all ages - from the bonny baby to the always popular arts and crafts and vegetables and fruit, and much, much more.
The pet dog show always attracts a big crowd as does the carriage driving. Mr Ryan said that to date 12 shows already have been cancelled - around 50 per cent.
“Any outdoor event is dependent on the weather. We are fortunate to have exceptionally good grounds thanks to the Gleeson family and the Taaffe family for extra ground.
Chairperson of the show, Marie Hayes, thanked all the sponsors.
“We are deeply indebted to you all. We wouldn’t have a show without sponsors,” said Mrs Hayes.
Jimmy McCarthy, show president and the last link to the founding members, said there have been a lot of new members in the last 12 months and the show continues to be “dynamic”.
New treasurer, PJ Blackwell, said it costs around €90,000 to host a one day show.
“We know money is scarce so we thank old and new sponsors. We hope the show encourages an economic uplift in the area,” said Mr Blackwell, who paid tribute to his predecessor.
“Pat Fogarty has been treasurer for 40 years and is as dedicated a community man as you will get anywhere. It was a major decision to change to a Saturday and Pat was one of the main advocates,” said Mr Blackwell.
These comments were seconded by Mrs Hayes, Mr McCarthy and Mr Ryan, and received the biggest applause of the night. Mr Ryan said he looked forward to seeing everybody on a “sunny” August 18!