IT IS the people behind Limerick Show that make it an annual fixture on the local calendar.
Show president, Richard Power, said it was the biggest crowd at a launch they ever had and the warmest round of applause on Tuesday night was for John McDonogh.
The Bruree man is a former cattle section chairman, show chairman, president and was honoured as a life member.
“John isn’t quite as well as he has been. Please join with me in wishing him well. He is a stalwart and backbone of Limerick Show,” said Mr Power.
Show chairman for a ninth year, Cllr Leo Walsh, said it is men and women like Mr McDonogh that have made Limerick Show what it is today.
This year’s show is on Saturday and Sunday, August 25 and 26 in Limerick Racecourse. Since they have returned to a two-day show, Cllr Walsh, said it has been getting bigger and better.
“A lot of people said we were mad to be going to two days but I was always an advocate and I think it was the right decision. For example, we wouldn’t be able to hold the show jumping in one day and that is very important,” said Cllr Walsh, who thanked their old and new sponsors for supporting the show, which costs over €100,000 to put on.
A number of shows have been cancelled this year but there is no doubt about Limerick Show going ahead.
“We are lucky with the hard court and facilities in the Racecourse for trade stands,” said Cllr Walsh. The one thing he would like to see is more young people involved.
One of these is 18 year-old Amber Downes, who is working in the show office. Amber jokes that she has been bred into it as her grandparents are synonymous with show jumping at Limerick Show - Norman and Liz Wheeler.
“It is a really nice family day but there is also lots for girls my age. You have the jewellery and trade stands and the wonderful craft masks made by Aileen and Claire,” said Amber.
The varied and entertaining programme ranges from the best of cattle, horses, sheep, show jumping, crafts and horticulture, poultry, sheep and goats, machinery – old and new, outdoor and indoor trade stands, exhibitions, children’s and adult’s entertainment.
There are new additions to riding horse class on Saturday and stallion parade on Sunday. Mr Power noted that the show’s first commercial sponsor was the Limerick Leader.
Alan English, editor, said the Leader has been covering it for generations and will continue to do so for generations to come.
“We will spread the word far and wide and continue the long and important tradition of printing the results of every category,” said Mr English.
Deputy mayor, Maria Byrne, said the show was at the heart of the community, while Cathaoirleach Jerome Scanlan said it continues to go “from strength to strength”.
See pages 18 & 20 for more pictures from the Limerick Show launch