Embracing tradition: Miss Limerick Beibhinn Haren, Donie O'Connor, Sean and Melissa Sheils with Jack O'Connor, attending the Limerick Show launch in AIB O’Connell Street |Picture: Brendan Gleeson
LIMERICK Show’s date of Sunday, August 26 coincides with Pope Francis’s visit to Dublin but Leo Walsh, show president, declared: “We’re not clashing with the Pope, the Pope is clashing with us!”.
Mr Walsh was speaking to a large crowd at the launch of the event in AIB on O’Connell Street on Tuesday evening. Last year’s move to a one day show was heralded as a great success. The hard-working committee are driving ahead with even more additions to the schedule this year.
Richard Kennedy, show chairman, said the World Meeting of Families is on in Croke Park but they will have a family day of their own in Greenmount Park.
“Limerick Show is a show for the city and county. It is a meeting place. When Limerick Show was on in Greenpark on a Wednesday and a Thursday it was attended by people from the city and the country,” said Mr Kennedy.
However, since they moved just a few miles out the road to Limerick Racecourse he said they have struggled to attract city folk. Mr Kennedy made a special appeal to them to come out on August 26 and see all that they have to offer.
He guarantees an enjoyable day out. The very best of cattle, horses, sheep, dogs, goats, poultry, as well as arts and crafts, photography, baking, horticulture, food stalls, entertainment and much more will be on display. The ‘kidz zone’, which provides free entertainment, is worth the admittance fee alone.
One of many new additions is the inaugural Munster Mile and 5k run by Dooneen AC. There will be humans instead of horses on the track! This was the brainchild of former AIB, O’Connell Street branch manager and Limerick Show legend, Paddy O’Callaghan.
The Munster Mile and 5k events are open to all ages and the registration price includes free entry to the show. See dooneenathleticclub.com for more.
Donie O’Connor, events organiser, said Limerick Show is reaching out to a new audience through heritage, culture, tourism and business.
“Culture, folklore and music is our past, present and future. This rich and unique way of life has been handed down to us through the generations, and will continue for many generations to come thanks to events like Limerick Show. By joining our vast heritage, culture and folklore together we can now market this by way of tourism,” he said.
A parade featuring the CBS Pipe Band and led by the men and women of Oglaigh Naisiunta na hEireann will wind through the grounds. Sean O’Dowd will play live and there will be a jiving competition so bring your dancing shoes!
“Let’s root for each other and watch each other grow,” concluded Mr O’Connor, to a rousing round of applause.
A huge one-day event like Limerick Show doesn’t come cheap. Mr Kennedy and Mr Walsh thanked all their sponsors from the big ones like AIB, Dairygold and Kerry to small businesses who take €50 ads in the catalogue. All the volunteers on the numerous committees were praised for their unseen work.
Dermot Graham, AIB head of business banking for Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, said Limerick Show dates back to the 1880s and that long and proud tradition is continuing with new and exciting events in 2018.