Limerick Show president, Leo Walsh with Grace Kenneally, who presented the most stylish lady winner, Grace Flynn with her prize Picture: Michael Cowhey
THE LIMERICK Show dates back to the late 19th century and it is as relevant now in the 21st century as it was then.
This year organisers took the brave decision to move to a one day show from the traditional two. And while it did mean a lot of extra spadework for committees and volunteers, as everything had to be packed into one day... it worked.
From the enticing smell of the food trucks to the array of children’s entertainment to the jam-packed arts and crafts and horticulture sections, not to mention cattle and horses, there was lots to enjoy. Maybe even too much!
Ger Murnane, Meanus, had his hands full with four children wanting to be at different places at the same time. Twins, Cormac and Eoghan, aged 8, and Garrett, 9, wanted to go straight to the cattle. But their sister, Saoise, 5, piped up, “I want to see the ponies”.
They all posed for a photo beside a beautiful vintage red Triumph – it would have been handy if Ger could have jumped in and driven them around! But they all had a brilliant day.
Richard Kennedy, show chairman, said they assessed everything after last year’s event.
“We decided having two days was the wrong decision, go to one day and see how we got on. We are delighted with the turn-out. We have an excellent site but you do need a crowd on it because it is very spread out. If you had a reasonable crowd it wouldn’t look it so you want a big crowd. We’re very happy with it,” said Mr Kennedy.
Wearing his other hat – IFA deputy president – Mr Kennedy has travelled to many shows this year and has seen the effects of a bad day. Thankfully in Limerick Racecourse on Sunday the only condensation was from perspiration due to the heat.
“I’ve been going around shows all over the country and it is heartbreaking to see a bad day after all the work and everyone puts in the same work. All credit goes to all the different committees, the helpers and volunteers that come out – it is tremendous,” said Mr Kennedy.
Leo Walsh, president, said the one day was a big hit with the public, trade stand holders and exhibitors. “It is the way forward. Upto 20,000 went through the gates that’s up about 5,000 on Sunday of last year. I was getting phone calls from people congratulating us, saying it was an excellent show.
“It was a long day for us but it went down a treat with people. The show jumping started at 9.30am sharp and finished at 8.30pm. It was hard fitting everything into one day but everybody put their shoulders to the wheel and it went off very smoothly. It is onwards and upwards from here,” said Mr Walsh, who welcomed new young volunteers and thanked all the sponsors and everybody who supported them.
The Limerick Show was founded in the 1880s and it continues to adapt and look to the future.