It’s all happening at this year’s Clonakilty Agricultural Show at the Show Grounds in Clonakilty on Sunday, June 10. This huge family event has been attracting thousands of people yearly from far and wide with its mixture of agricultural events, concerts and special emphasis on an affordable family day out – all set against the beautiful backdrop of the rugged countryside and the Atlantic Ocean. Family pas for €20, which admits two adults and children under 12 go free.
‘Farm and Work Safely’ will be the main theme for this year’s show. Farming is now the most dangerous occupation to follow in this country and has been for the past eight years In 2017, out of a total of 47 workplace deaths, 24 farmers died in work related accidents, a figure up from 21 fatalities in the previous year. Elderly farmers are at a particular risk with 14 of the fatalities being 65 or older. There was one child fatality. Back in the day, it was the construction industry that had this reputation.
Instead of trying to get the farmers to attend special focused events, the Committee of Clonakilty Agricultural Show decided to bring the ‘Farm and Work Safely’ event where there is a readymade audience of farmers and their families. The event will focus on all types of safety on the farm to in the home, so it will be of interest to both farmers and non-farmers. If this saves just one life, it will have been worth all the work the organisers have put into the event.
There will be a variety of demonstrations, focusing on: safe cattle handling, operating farm machinery and the farmers own well-being. A number of people will also share their own respective stories with those present. These will include: Peter Gohery, a farm accident survivor; George Graham, a sheep farmer and shearer who struggled with his mental health; MC for the event will be Jim Dockery from the Farm Relief Services.
Central to the theme will be safety for children, with Caroline Casey from Cork County Council and her team conducting workshops for children, not alone on farm safety but also road safety and water safety. Other participants will be the Red Cross, Jason Dr. Jason van der Velde, Courtmacsherry RNLI, the Garda and many more.
Show Day is all about animals and the show grounds will be turned into a mini wonderland with frisky calves paraded around on their first day out at the show. Foals as young as two-weeks-old can be admired while fully grown horses will be there in all their glory, groomed with manes and tails plaited. Their owners all dressed up with hard hats and the flower in their lapel, all hoping to win the coveted red and white rosette from Clonakilty Agricultural Show.
Poultry is a growing hobby in town and country. The new again passion, fits right in with gardening and getting back to fresh! Most people who keep chickens are motivated by having fresh eggs. Some hatch and raise their own show birds. This year’s Clonakilty Agricultural Show will feature the best of local birds with classes like Bantam Hard Feather, Bantam Heavy Soft Feather, Bantam Light Soft Feather, True Bantam, Mother and Chick and Duck.
Even country children these days do not get up close to animals now that farming is gone so commercial and we no longer have to visit the local farmer to get that pint of milk. So this is a once-off event giving the opportunity to pick up a lamb or a rabbit and give it a hug, Gerard’s Mobile Farm brings the farmyard to the show with ducks and ducklings, rabbits, kits and guinea pigs, sheep and lambs, goats and kids, chicks, hens and roosters, a donkey and many breeds of birds.
Returning to this year’s show is the six-time Irish trial-bike champion, Andy Perry and his ‘trialstar’ team displaying their skills and bravery riding motorcycles over jumps and a few mind-boggling obstacles. Andy has previously performed in Red Bull events and numerous shows around the country and we’re really looking forward to seeing his team in the new look show at this year’s Clonakilty Agricultural Show.
Dogs are always a treat to see and the dog show is one of the most popular attractions every year with classes open to all canines – mutt and pedigree. Breeds from sheepdogs to St Bernard, to the dog that is most liked its owner, will be on show. Entries for the Dog Show will be taken by the Ring Side from 1pm onwards.
It is ‘Four Roads to Clonakilty Show’ on Sunday, June 10 for a great line up of Country Music with Paul Kelly and Band who recently had a number one and a number two on the itunes charts with his latest songs ‘Cut the Grass’ and ‘Willie the Dealer’. Special guest at the show will be Michael O’Brien all the way from County Waterford. MC will be our very own Michael Whelton who is a celebrity in his own right, now famous for his dancing classes all over West Cork and this year’s show will again feature the West Cork Jiving Championship. Supporting these two big names at the show are Bandjaxed, a group of young boys attending Scoil na Buachailli in Clonakilty. They have just realeased a new single called ‘Better’, penned by themselves. They played at last year’s show and their enthusiasm was an inspiration and we hope to see them someday playing in The Boiler Clon.
Every year Clonakilty Show endeavours to make the day as affordable as possible for young families with some free entertainment, and this year is no exception. Agricultural shows are part of our heritage, something deeprooted in our hearts and memories. Some of us have the memory of a unique family day out, being taken to the show as a toddler and young child on the second Wednesday in July; it was one of the few family days out in the year. Now we bring our own children or grandchildren to continue the tradition.
Today, more than ever, we cherish those simple, special occasions when we meet old friends, exchange the news, have a chat, and have a wonderful day out. Clonakilty show is the place to be on Sunday, June 10…where else would you be.