Organisers couldn’t have asked for a better 25th birthday celebration for the big midlands agricultural show.

Farmers in day-off mood at last Sunday’s Tullamore Show and AIB National Livestock Show were a receptive audience for new EU ideas about less specialised, less intensive farming.

With IFA President Joe Healy telling the huge 60,000 attendance of the severe income difficulties on livestock farms this year, and the milk price slump continuing, many of the audience were ready to hear about an EU report favouring a new direction for the Common Agricultural Policy.

According to Mairead McGuinness MEP and Vice President of the European Parliament, speaking at the Show, one of the fundamental shifts in the latest report to the EU Commission is that the next CAP, from 2020, should support “more labour-intensive integrated farming”, that maintains jobs, restores biodiversity and improves ecosystem services such as clean water and soil preservation, thus moving away from specialised farm units.

With environmental damage from farming threatening the sustainability of farming in some areas of the continent, and farmers across the EU threatened by low prices, this report to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is likely to find a ready audience in leading member states such as Germany and France.

Organisers couldn’t have asked for a better 25th birthday celebration for the big midlands show, as the rain stayed away.

The Show was officially opened by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Andrew Doyle.

He said, “In a year like this when there’s been challenges across the commodity sectors, we need to remember that without a vibrant primary production sector, the rest of the chain falls down.”

One of the major highlights was the quality of cattle and other animals on display.

More than 2,000 animals competed in the National Livestock Show, all competing for the most coveted awards for livestock in Ireland.

But it was a big day for Macra too, with the Show staging the FBD farm skills final. And in the week that belonged to Olympic silver medal rowers Gary and Paul O’Donovan, it was fitting that Caheragh Macra — from the parish next door to the O’Donovans — kept West Cork among the winners, taking the top prize in the farm skills final, ahead of Moynalty Macra from Co Meath.

Teams were tested in tractor teamwork, farming knowledge, and stock proof fencing, and the Caheragh trio of David Murphy, Dan Collins and Patrick Houlihan came out on top.

In the AIB National Livestock Show, Bryan and Clody O’Connor of Kanturk, Co Cork, followed up their All-Ireland junior cow win and show championship at Charleville with the Senior Holstein Friesian Championship prize for Clongowes Sid Almeric.

There was a two-in-a-row for Martin Ryan, Thurles, Co Tipperary, with his Charolais champion, Goldstar Elle. Exhibitors of the champions included:

Jersey:

Eamonn McLoughney. Nenagh, Co Tipperary. Reserve: Aidan Foody, Ballina, Mayo.

Dairy Shorthorn:

Michael and Ann-Maree Manley, Edenderrry, Co Offaly. Reserve: James Lambe , Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

Registered Pedigree Holstein-Friesian In-Milk Heifer:

Peter Ging, Portlaoise.

Young Showmanship Holstein Friesian Challenge (under 12):

Hollie Keenan, Threemilehouse, Co Monaghan. Reserve: Pat Smith, Doneraile, Co Cork

Young Showmanship (13-16):

Rachel Corley, Smithboro, Co Cavan. Reserve: Kevin and Brian Smith, Doneraile, Cork.

Senior Holstein-Friesian:

Bryan O’Connor, Kanturk, Cork. Reserve: Liam Murphy and Lauren O’Toole, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow.

Young Pedigree Beef Stockperson:

Sarah Murray, Moate, Westmeath. Reserve: Conor Craig, Edgeworthstown, Longford.

Limousin:

Connell Brothers, Oldcastle, Co Meath. Reserve: A&P Kelly, Moate, Westmeath.

Limousin Male:

A&P Kelly, Moate, Westmeath. Reserve: Darren Hartnett, Athlone, Westmeath.

Limousin Female:

Connell Brothers, Oldcastle, Meath. Reserve: Daire O’Meara, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare.

Piemontese:

Roger O’Halloran, Tralee, Kerry. Reserve: Paddy Blake, Kilcock, Kildare.

Aubrac:

Francis and Jennifer Donohoe, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Reserve: Kelly Stephenson, Donard, CoWicklow.

Irish Moiled:

Margaret Edgill, Daingean, Offaly. Reserve: James White, Ballymitty, Wexford.

Angus:

Albert De Cogan, Castlemartyr, Co Cork. Reserve: Matthew Goulding, Ballyduff, Co Kerry.

Angus Female:

Cathal Duignan, Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim. Reserve: Albert De Cogan, Castlemartyr, Co Cork.

Angus Male:

Albert De Cogan, Castlemartyr, Co Cork. Reserve: Matthew Goulding, Ballyduff, Co Kerry.

Charolais:

Martin Ryan, Thurles, Co Tipperary. Reserve: Edward Walshe, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

Charolais male:

Edward Walshe. Reserve: Michael Quin, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare.

Charolais female:

Martin Ryan. Reserve: Brendan and Niall Canning, Rosses Point, Co Sligo.

National Charolais heifer of the year born in 2014:

Martin Ryan.

National Hereford Show Supreme Champion (and female champion):

Matthew Goulding, Ballyduff, Co Kerry. Reserve: Sean McKiernan, Corlismore, Co Cavan.

Male Champion:

John Appelbe, Clonakilty, Co Cork. Reserve (and Bull Calf Champion): Sarah Murray, Moate, Co Westmeath,

Salers:

Declan Bell, Clarecastle, Clare. Reserve: John Burke, Ennis, Co Clare.

Blonde d’Aquitaine:

John and Stephen Lynch, Ballinalee, Longford. Reserve: Robert Tormey, Rathdowney, Co Laois.

Parthenaise:

Michael Dullea, Drimoleague, Co Cork. Reserve: Des Henry, Durrow, Co Offaly.

Beef Shorthorn:

John Keane, Kilfenora, Co Clare. Reserve: PJ, C and M Kelly, Rathvilly, Co Carlow.

Belgian Blue:

Tommy and Pauline Fitzgerald, Clonaslee, Co Laois. Reserve: Richard Stanley, Bandon, Co Cork.

COMMERCIAL

Moyvalley Meats €2,000 Commercial Factory Bullock :

Luke Barnett, Lifford, Co Donegal.

SHEEP

Texel:

Robert Walker, Croom, Limerick. Reserve: Arthur O’Keeffe, Mallow.

Vendeen:

Conor and Cheryl O’Brien, Kildorrery, Cork. Reserve: Cíaran Coughlan, Ferbane, Co Offaly.

Galway:

Michael Maher, Athenry. Reserve: John Greaney, Headford.

Beltex:

John and Sean Browne, Tullamore, Co Offaly (and reserve).

Commercial:

Christopher Johnston, Lifford, Donegal. Reserve: Coote Geelan, Dromod, Leitrim.

HORSES

Non-Thoroughbred Young Horse:

Michael Egan, Charlestown, Co Mayo.

Ridden Show Horse:

Timothy Carey, Castletown-Geoghegan, Westmeath.

Working Hunter Pony:

Geraldine Dempsey, Athenry, Co Galway.

Working Hunter Horse:

Jane Hennigan, Kells, Co Meath.

Clydesdale:

Pat O’Boyle, Ballymena, Antrim.

Miniature Horse:

Gary Laird, Ballinasloe, Galway.

NATIONAL INVENTIONS

Agriculture, Horticulture & Forestry:

Liam Murphy, Ballyragget, Co Kilkenny.

Home, Leisure & Building:

Joseph Keniry, Youghal, Cork.

Labour Saving Devices:

Joseph Keniry.

Students:

Mary Murphy, Ballina.

OTHER SHOW RESULTS

Best Dressed :

Paula Gannon, Athlone, Roscommon.

Best Dressed Man:

Caleb Clarke, Nenagh, Co Tipperary.

Glamourous Granny:

Mary O’Halloran, Glasnevin, Dublin 11.

Bonny Baby:

Amelia Kerrigan, Clarecastle, Co Clare.

Traditional Farmer:

Ronan Kelly Taughmaconnell, Co Roscommon.

Champion Dog:

Christina O’Brien, Gort, Galway.

Bridge House All Vegetables Ireland Championship:

Aoife Walton, Strandhill, Sligo.

Bord Bia All Ireland Quality Potato Championship:

Thomas Carr, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath.

All Ireland Home Baking Championship:

Angela M Carragher, Castleblayney, Monaghan.


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