In December 2017, I announced financial support of €812,000 for Agricultural Shows to be held during 2018, to help alleviate financial difficulties suffered by a number of these shows in recent years, primarily due to adverse weather conditions.
This allocation was made in coordination with the Irish Shows Association (ISA) and resulted in approximately 120 shows under the umbrella of the ISA in the Republic of Ireland receiving assistance of between €3,500 and €7,000, depending on the size of the show.
The ISA is the umbrella organisation for agricultural shows in Ireland, and membership of the Association is open to all recognised Agricultural Show Societies.
On 7th August this year, I announced further financial support of €600,000 for agricultural shows to be held during 2019. This funding will be distributed, once again, through the ISA. Under this year's allocation, 120 shows will each receive €5,000 towards their running costs.
I had the opportunity to visit many agricultural shows throughout the country this year and I have seen first-hand the impact these shows make to the vibrancy of local communities. I am therefore very pleased to be in a position to provide funding to support the 2019 shows which are an integral part of rural communities' calendars.