Rural show enjoys large turnout

MOTHER Nature did her best to be a spoil sport at the 52nd annual Cappamore Agricultural Show in Co Limerick yesterday.

But she failed to break an age old tradition that has ensured fine weather for the annual celebration of rural lifestyles. Heavy rain has never been known to fall on show day in Cappamore because, it is said, the organisers acceded to a request from a local priest many years ago not to hold the event on a Sunday.

There were showers yesterday in places surrounding the show venue, but only an early drizzle fell in Cappamore and it stayed warm.

The work of the show committee headed by William Berkery, chairman, and Patrick Ryan, secretary, were rewarded with a large turnout in the high grounds of Bilboa, where Jerry Duggan and Kevin Conroy made land available for the event, with other landowners providing parking sites.

First held in 1954, the show is a splendid mix of serious showing competition in cattle and horses and a wide range of activities. Cattle entries came from across the country.

In the secretary’s office, Marie Hayes, mother of Munster and Irish rugby hero John Hayes, who comes from nearby farming stock, reported a significant increase in the entries including the flower section.

The business of farming was never far away, however, and the IFA’s Munster vice president Sean O’Leary was kept busy listening to the views of members on a range of issues.

It was a day too when absent friends were remembered. John Meehan, who had acted as chief steward at the livestock entrance for many years, died unexpectedly after last year’s show.

Tribute was also paid to Bob O’Callaghan, who died a few months ago. He was a former president and vice president of the show society and also was chief steward in the jumping section.

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