I grew up on a sheep farm just outside the village of Geashill in Co Offaly with my mother, father, sister, and brother.

My father got us involved in farming from a very young age and shared all his knowledge and passion for sheep and the farm.

Being reared on a farm there is always something to do especially around lambing season.

Growing up I would have always had a keen interest in poultry and birds and have shown both finches and canaries from a very young age.

Besides farming, badminton was the main hobby in our house with my dad competing at a very high level.

It was no wonder I developed a passion for the sport and have travelled the length and breadth of the country to compete.

I completed my studies in AIT with a first-class honour? in business and have recently gone back to college to complete my green cert in Gurteen College.

In 2018 I married Ivor McDonald, a Killeigh native, and recently invested in a small flock of Blue Texel following the family traditions.

The Tullamore Show was a big part of my childhood. Each year I would head off early in the morning to help steward with Dad for the day.

My family have always been involved in Tullamore Show, with my dad helping out in the sheep section and my uncle Rodney Cox being involved at a committee level and was Chairman a number of years ago.

Childhood memories

My first memory of the Tullamore Show was on the old showgrounds in Charleville Estate when I was very young. I remember hearing tractors roaring and wondering what was going on.

I went exploring to discover it was tractor pulling, which I was fascinated by for quite some time.

In 2009 I started working in the show Office during my student days and have been here ever since.

My favourite thing about working with the Tullamore Show committee is witnessing the passion everyone has to stage a show for the community and their drive and enthusiasm to succeed.

Tullamore Show launch

There is a huge volume of work involved in preparing for the show with each committee member having a responsibility over a section of the show.

I really missed not having a show during lockdown, in particular the planning and organising, as the Tullamore Show Committee are like my second family.

However, my time was well spent improving our online system and exploring new ideas.

My role

My role in the Tullamore Show is the show secretary. I work full time for the Tullamore Show all year round.

When one show finishes, we go straight back to the drawing table for the following year.

The role involves many different elements from the day to day running of the office to organising and planning the event.

It can be very challenging at times but very rewarding in the end.

I worked my way through many roles in the Tullamore Show from a part time summer student to the office manager culminating in acquiring the position of show secretary.

I really enjoy being on the show committee and I have learned so much over the years and admire how the committee strive to improve the show every year.

Show evolution

The Tullamore Show has evolved majorly over the last number of years by improving our website with a content management system allowing for the introduction of the online facilities for the traders, competitor, and tickets sales.

It has made processing applications a lot easier. In 1995 Tullamore Show took a great leap and agreed to host the National Livestock Show, which originated in the RDS.

The National Livestock Show has evolved with a large number of new classes and breeds and a massive prize fund of €175,000.

The Tullamore Show encourages younger people to get involved all the time.

This year we have introduced several new members to our executive committee.

We also have a youth subcommittee group that encourages and recruits young people each year.

This year’s show takes place on Sunday 14 August with over 1,000 classes with a massive prize fund of €175,000 along with a range of highly sought-after medals and cups to be won on the day.

More info

Tullamore Show takes place in Butterfield Estate, Blueball, Tullamore, Offaly, R35 E954 from 9am to 6pm. Visit www.tullamoreshow.com

Read more

Behind the scenes of the summer shows: Simon Johnston of Arva Agricultural Show

Behind the scenes of the summer shows: Joan Widger of Clonmel Agri Show