The Birr Game Fair organisers are delighted that thousands of country sports enthusiasts and their families made Birr Castle Game Fair their number one destination last Saturday and Sunday.
In fact the Birr Fair welcomed many people from as far away as the United States, Canada, and Europe as well as huge numbers from all parts of the island of Ireland and the UK.
Despite a weather forecast that seemed to promise somewhat damp conditions, there was only a brief shower on the Saturday while the rest of the event was warm and very bight — even the sun made an appearance on both days which was an added bonus as well to the delightfully warm days.
Albert Titterington said: “We had great number of both days with Sunday as usual being a hugely important day for families to come along and enjoy what was on offer. Enthusiasts were well catered for as well as families of all ages with something for everyone to see and do. The range and variety of the huge number of stall holders meant that shooters, anglers, clay shots, archery buffs, hunting enthusiasts and dog enthusiasts were really spoilt for choice not to mention the sporting art, fine food and so much more on offer.
“Naturally, the day long Main Arena programme meant that people of all ages had something special to enjoy as they took time out from all the other attractions including the Fine Food Festival that offered so much for foodies to see and try as well as learning the special tricks of the trade from world acclaimed chief Emmet McCourtt fresh from winning the coveted award for the Best Food travel Book in the world!
“I am delighted to report that in spite of some adverse weather reports the Irish Game & Country Fair at Birr posted another huge success meaning that the two Great Game Fairs of Ireland once again proved to be the greatest promotional platforms for the promotion and defence of country sports in Ireland. This year we had an increased number of trade stands covering all aspects of country life, including six gun dealers with guns from €400 to €70,000. In addition there were a large number of stands offering a huge range of clothing, tackle and accessories and virtually all with some real bargains. If you were there to purchase gear then the saving on any purchase would have certainly covered the modest admission charge.”
“We had great number of both days with Sunday as usual being a hugely important day for families to come along and enjoy what was on offer.”Albert Titterington, Birr Game Fair
Turning to the Great Game Fairs of Ireland brand, Albert Titterington said: “There is a particular strength in our Great Game Fairs of Ireland brand, in that we deliver strong economic benefits for the host area. As well we encourage local traders to get involved, and really maximise the potential benefit that the huge game fair audience brings with it. It is important to note that the public which come to the Birr game Fair and to its sister event at Shanes Castle is not only from Ireland as a whole but from Europe and farther afield. This can only be of immense importance to tourism. Already Tourism Ireland has confirmed that there was no accommodation to be had within a 30 to 40 mile radius of Birr Castle as everything had been fully booked well in advance of the fair.”
Added Albert: “We were also particularly pleased to welcome special VIPS to Birr Game Fair, including the Italian Ambassador along with the The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, TD, as guests of the National Association of Regional Game Councils (NARGC) to perform the official opening ceremony.”
And Albert highlighted just one of the events which had kept the public enthralled: “Gundogs are always very popular and this year we had some tremendous competition in the International category with the home team of the Republic of Ireland emerging as worthy winners. Not only that but the outstandingly competitive spaniel section saw a record 38 dogs in contention.”
Finally Albert Titterington said: “The outstanding fair in Ireland is widely acknowledged to be the event at Shane’s Castle, with Birr nudging it for top spot every year. We will do all we can to see that Birr continues to grow successfully to challenge successfully for the elusive Irish ‘game fair crown’.”