The launch of Tydavnet Show 2019 took place in Tydavnet Village Community Centre on Wednesday 19th June 2019. MC was Gerard Sherlock, and he welcomed sponsors, friends, and all involved in Show Day to the event. This is the kickstart for the 68th Show, and Gerard also welcomed the Chairperson Paula Treanor; Jim Harrison, secretary of the Irish Shows Association; Raymond Brady, a member of the Irish Shows Association Regional Board who is also from Arva Show; the Show President Gerard Meehan; the 2019 Show Queen Rachel Woods, and representatives from Castleblayney and Armagh Show Societies. Pre event music was provided by the Show Queen Rachel playing the harp.

Chairperson Paula Treanor thanked the landowners, advertisers, trade stands, exhibitors and judges,  – all of whom contribute to the success of the event, and most importantly the patrons who attend and support the show in many ways. Paula outlined the introduction of some new competitions and qualifiers this year, as well as activities and entertainers  from Corvenieos Entertainment; dancing on the deck with LimeLite; and cookery demonstrations with celebrity TV chef Kevin Dundon, SuperValu brand ambassador. There is also an online entry system which will be available from Wednesday 26th June. She also praised the Chief Safety Officer and the Red Cross for their contribution to event safety. Thanks also to Charley Meats and Joan Boyd for food for the launch event. There’s something for everyone on the day, whether they be exhibitors or those people who come for a day out.

Raymond Brady, the local representative on the Irish Shows Association has long involvement in agriculture shows, and he commended the people on committees and landowners who made the events like Tydavnet Show a success. Running a show is not simple – it takes the people of the area to work hard and make it happen. He likened it to making a cake – it requires a successful recipe – getting the right hardworking, industrious and innovative people, building the show site, organising the day of the Show, and taking it all back down again. He also pleaded with the Press and media outlets to give as much exposure as possible to local shows – and to reduce the cost of ads. He wished Tydavnet Show a safe and successful day.

Kevin Connolly, a native of Mullaghbrack, Smithboro was the invited guest for the launch, and he spoke about growing up on the family dairy farm, before heading to UCD to undertake a Degree in Agricultural Science. He also developed software packages for profit monitoring on farms – an innovative idea at the time. He later studied Financial Management and Tax, and his first job was with Kerry Group in Tralee, where he had to learn fast – a trait that stood to him ever since. He later lectured in St Patrick’s Agriculture College, and dabbled in farm software for record keeping for pedigree herds. He joined Teagasc in 2001 as a financial specialist specialising in knowledge transfer – getting the information out to clients. Since then he has had a varied role as an advisor, and sitting on working groups with the Department of Agriculture and Revenue – formulating policy changes to assist farmers. He spoke at length on planning for farm succession – the benefits of partnership structures, and developing templates to assist with splitting the transfer of business into 2. He stated that parents are often the guiding hands in terms of experience, not learnt from a book – and that there was a need for some incentive for older generations to take a step back, but not completely retire, from farming, just gradually allow young farmers to become fully in control of the farm business. He spoke about the award winning farm of Darren McKenna from Emyvale – where 5 generations have worked on it, and a few of the innovations that make his farm stand out. He said it was important that we don’t “talk down” the farming – it already gets bad press about climate change etc, though it can be a hard slog, it has it’s upsides, and we must promote the positivity. This can be achieved by embracing the ethos of the Show – a great day out, seeing great stock, and enjoying the social side of farming. The key to succession is to get young people interested, mixing in farms through stock judging and farm visits, and to understand the importance of farm safety – particularly around stock – and this can be achieved through less rushing around, and improved handling facilities. The Show is an institution – long may it continue! (Kevin very generously gave his donation for speaking at the event to Drumkill Day Centre, Threemilehouse). 

Gerard Sherlock invited Peadar McMahon (Emyvale.net) to speak about a recent fundraising event he and his wife Ann organised at their home in aid of the Gavin Glynn Foundation. Peadar told how local lad Francis Balmer was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November 2018, and he had surgery and chemotherapy in Dublin, followed by an intensive treatment session in Germany. The cost of this was picked up by the Gavin Glynn charity, and the family and community were paying the generosity forward so that someone else in a similar position will be able to access the best treatment available. Gerard presented Peadar with a donation on behalf of Tydavnet Show, which was gratefully accepted.

Each year Tydavnet Show supports a charity, and the 2018 charity partner was Crocus Cancer Support in Monaghan; all funds raised by raffles and the Show Queen event will be presented to them. The nominated charity partner of Tydavnet Show for 2019 will be Motor Neurone Disease.

The prizes for designing the cover of the Show Schedule and Catalogue were awarded on the night – First prize was won by Grainne McElroy from Urbleshanny N.S.; 2nd prize winner was Chloe Wall , Killeevan; and third prize was won by Josh Brennan, Tydavnet School. There were over 130 entries – all of these will be on display on Show Day.

Gerard Sherlock wrapped up the event by thanking Peter Cavanagh for the provision of amplification for the night, and he invited everyone to publicise the event, and encourage others to exhibit and come along. We look forward to great weather and a successful event.

The Show will take place on Saturday 17th August, the schedule of classes is now available. See the Show website. (Click on images to enlarge….)