Ireland's oldest agricultural show in Laois falls victim to Covid-19 pandemic

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


coronavirus covid-19

Ossory Show

Ireland’s longest-running agricultural show, The Ossory Show, in Laois has fallen foul of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The show takes place every year towards the end of July. It has expanded into a two day weekend event in recent years.

Peter Ging is chairman of the show committee.

"We will be pulling the plug on this year's event. We will write to our sponsors to thank them for all their support but we certainly won't be going ahead," he said.

Mr Ging said the show was previously cancelled during the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001 and returned the following year.

"We will definitely be there next year. It is definitely disappointing...We hope everybody will be well and fit and ready to go next year," he said.

The event was established in 1898 and 2020 would have marked the 122nd edition.

 It is staged annually at the showgrounds in Coolfin, Kilbreedy, Rathdowney. 

A meeting of the National Executive Board of the Irish Shows Association took place by video conference on Tuesday 14th April. At the meeting, it was the considered opinion of the board that the current, necessary restrictions around social distancing and mass gatherings will continue for some time.

"We are also cognisant of the fact that many of our show volunteers are in vulnerable groups and that our sponsors have been hit hard by the current situation. For this reason, we are recommending to all our member shows not to run their shows or any public events until such time as the safety of their members and the general public can be ensured and restrictions on social distancing are lifted.

"The Irish Shows Association takes public safety very seriously and will be bound by the recommendations and advice of the public health authorities and the relevant government departments," said the statement.