Cappamore Show turns 65 but shows no sign of retirement

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Cappamore Show turns 65 but shows no sign of retirement

Dominic McArdle, ISA board member and his wife Cait and Mary and David Sheehan, ISA president at the launch of the Cappamore Agricultural Show in Hayes' Bar, Cappamore | Picture: Dave Gaynor

THE FOUNDERS of Cappamore Show back in 1954 couldn’t be prouder of how it has grown through the years.

On Saturday, August 17, it will mark its 65th year. Thoughts of retiring are far from the over 130 strong hard-working committee’s minds. Jimmy McCarthy, 87-year-old show president, is the only continuous link by a serving committee member to their very first one.

Hayes’ function room was packed to capacity on Wednesday night as young and the young at heart gathered together to launch their event. Marie Hayes, chairperson, said they will mark the milestone by hosting a competition for the best dressed lady and gent in 1950s clothes.

“Some of us remember that style more than most,” smiled Ms Hayes.  The very best of cattle, horses, ponies, horticulture, arts, crafts, baking, vintage cars and tractors, free children’s entertainments and lots more awaits visitors to Ballyvoreen. Learning from last year, they plan to work on the field lay-out to improve patrons’ safety and ease of viewing. This year they have an All-Ireland final in the horse section – three year old filly. 

If there is one word that sums up Cappamore Show it is community. Ms Hayes welcomed new local sergeant, Adrian Condon and paid tribute to Sgt Helen Holden, who has retired, for all her help. Sgt Condon was joined by Garda Bill Collins. Ms Hayes also made a special mention of newly elected councillor, Martin Ryan who is on the show committee. Other honoured guests were chairman of Limerick Show and IFA deputy president, Richard Kennedy; Cllrs Ger Mitchell and John Egan and Limerick solicitor David Sheehan, president of the Irish Shows Association. 

PJ Blackwell, treasurer, said hosting any one day event is a “mammoth task”.

“Sponsors are a vital cog in the wheel and without them there would be no show. The dedication of the committee over 65 years is what has us here today. Hopefully there will be people standing here in 65 years time as the show goes from strength to strength,” said Mr Blackwell, who along with sponsors thanked Limerick City and County Council and Ballyhoura for their support.

Incredibly, Paddy Ryan “Luke” has been secretary for 60 of the 65 shows.

“The years have gone bye very quickly. We have a loyal core of sponsors, some of whom go back many years,” said Mr Ryan. There was a loud round of applause when Mr Ryan spoke about the sad farewell to the three Sisters of Mercy nuns in Cappamore.

“As a group that is representative of the community we have to acknowledge the contribution of the Mercy Sisters and thank them for their contribution over 123 years,” said Mr Ryan. Cappamore Show is more than just one day it is a way of life.

For more pictures from the launch of the Cappamore Show, see p7 L2