Minister for Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys has announced a funding package of €700,000 to support Ireland’s agricultural shows in 2022.

The news will come as a major boost to show committees around the country, who are kicking back into action after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding follows on from the announcement in 2019 by then-minister Michael Ring of an allocation of €600,000 for shows in 2020.

Due to no shows taking place in 2020 and 2021, just €200,000 of this funding was spent.

Minister Humphreys has now allocated a further €300,000 to the fund to bring the total fund to €700,000 in 2022.

This works out at an average allocation of over €5,000 for the country’s 130 shows, which will take place over the summer months.

Funding will be paid out to shows on submission of receipts in relation to show expenses.

'Sense of community'

Speaking at the launch of the FBD National Livestock Show in Tullamore on Wednesday night, Minister Humphreys said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this funding package for our summer shows in 2022.

"For two and a half years, we lost something that really sums up everything that is good about rural Ireland.

"Shows are intrinsically linked to that sense of community that rural Ireland is all about.

"Shows are also really important to the local rural economy and it’s really important that we support them in the good work that they do.”

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Shows Association national secretary Jim Harrison said: “We are absolutely delighted that the minister has acknowledged the important work that local shows do.

"The funding will help local show committees in the running of shows and also make sure that shows engages with their local community to display all that is good about farming and rural Ireland."

President of the Irish Shows Association Catherine Gallagher said: "I'd like to thank Minister Heather Humphreys for the allocation of funding in 2022.

"Shows have had a very difficult time over the last two years with no events, and this funding is very welcome.

"It will go towards community events in rural Ireland, which are very important to local communities."