Newry Show 2024: the perfect family day out

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By common consent, last year’s Newry Show was one of 2023’s top highlights. Many refer to it as being ‘the perfect family day out’.

The sun shone, the site was resplendent while the turnout of livestock, trade exhibitors and other attractions combined to deliver a tremendous day’s fun and excitement for the many thousands of people that made Newry Show such a success.

“And we will be delivering the same fun-filled package of excitement in 2024,” confirmed Newry Agricultural Show Society chairman, Brian Lockhart.

“This year’s show takes place on Saturday, 29 June. And it really is all systems go at this stage.

Newry Agricultural Show Society chairman, Brian Lockhart, addressing the official launch  of Newry Show 2024Newry Agricultural Show Society chairman, Brian Lockhart, addressing the official launch  of Newry Show 2024
Newry Agricultural Show Society chairman, Brian Lockhart, addressing the official launch of Newry Show 2024

“Our venue remains the same: grounds at 12 to 18 Derrywilliagan Road, Bessbrook.”

Newry Agricultural society held its first Newry show in 1869 and has been providing an annual agricultural show ever since. The event is traditionally held on the last Saturday of June.

“The records show that we will be celebrating our 155th show this year,” Brian continued. “And the event continues to thrive. We took four years, as a consequence of the Covid pandemic.

However, Newry Show returned last year to a rapturous reception from people throughout our entire catchment area.

There was a tremendous turnout for the recent launch of Newry Show 2024There was a tremendous turnout for the recent launch of Newry Show 2024
There was a tremendous turnout for the recent launch of Newry Show 2024

“The aim now is to build on all of this for the future.”

Farming and food showcase

Newry Show provides a perfect platform for the farming and food sectors that are so important to the economy and community of the South Down/Armagh catchment area.

Brian Lockhart again: “People from all walks of life want to know about farming and the way they food consume is produced.

“Newry Show provides them with an almost touch:feel experience in this context.”

He added: “Events like Newry Show take place in Northern Ireland throughout the summer months. It would be impossible to put a value on the amount of positive publicity for our farming and food sectors, which all these events manage to generate.

“All the local shows must be fully supported into the future. In a very meaningful way. Our commitment is truly delivering the objectives set for farming and food in Northern Ireland by bodies, including the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, all the local councils and the myriad promotional bodies that have been established across the various food sectors.”

Sponsorship

No public event can survive without sponsorship and Newry Show is no different in this regard.

Brian Lockhart explained: “We have received tremendous support from the local business community and many commercial organisations operations across the farming and food space.

“It is so heartening to secure such a significant level of commercial support on an annual basis. On behalf of the entire membership of Newry Show Society, I would like to sincerely thank all our sponsors for 2024.”

He continued: “Running any scale of public event in 2024 brings with it a high degree of cost. And this is especially the case when working on green field site.”

The following sponsors are supporting Newry Show 2024:

Gold category: Canal Court Hotel, Norbrook Laboratories, Assured Energy, AgriKomp, Wilson’s Country, Fane Valley, NFU Mutual Insurance Company and Connex Renewables

Silver category: ABP, Gordon’s Chemists, Linergy, Concrete Batching Ststems Ltd, Danske Bank, Best Property Services, and Lakeland Dairies

Bronze category: Alltech, B Wilson and Sons United Feeds, Hanna Hillen Estates, Finney Brothers, Hill Engineering and Soapy Joes

A host of other sponsors are listed on the Newry Show website: www.newryagrishow.com

Newry Show has something for everyone

Competitions will be held across the following schedules at Newry Show 2024: cattle, sheep, horses, pigs, goats, pygmy goats, children, home industries, horticulture and the ever popular dog show.

Entertainment on the day will be provided by: the Commons’ Silver Band, DJ Sammy, the Dixieland Jazz Band and Two Step.

The sun has also been asked, very politely, to make a strong appearance on the day. He answered the call ‘big time’ last year. So let’s hope that history will repeat itself in 2024.

Official Charity for 2024: ADNI

Newry Show traditionally partners with a local charity support on an annual basis. The very worthy organisation selected for 2024 is ‘Assistance Dogs Northern Ireland (ADNI).

Brian Lockhart explained: “We are very proud to announce that the chosen charity for Neery Agricultural Show 2024 is Assistance Dogs Northern Ireland.”

Just over 20% of adults and 6% of children have been diagnosed with one or more disabilities. ADNI believes there is a gap in the provision of assistance dogs for these individuals and hope to help as many people as possible.

ADNI provides independence and dignity for people with disabilities. Moreover, the dogs provided by the organisation van greatly improve the quality of life, while also promoting wellbeing, for large numbers of people.

The launch of Newry Show 2024

Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) president, William Irvine, was trhe guest speaker at the official launch of 2024.

Courtesy of his presentation, he indicated that war in Ukraine represents an immense food security threat for countries across Europe.

He further explained: “This is a wake-up call for governments to make the issue of their own national security an absolute priority.”

The Co Armagh man also highlighted the opportunities that exist to increase the levels of food security generated within the UK and the role that agriculture here in Northern Ireland can play in this context.

William Irvine also views the upcoming general election in the UK as a potential game changer for agriculture in Northern Ireland.

He said: “The post-Brexit support arrangements that were made available to agriculture in NI end now: it’s time to look to the future.”

Priority number one in this regard for the UFU leader will be the securing of higher levels of farm support.

“The current budget is slightly in excess of £300M,” he explained

“In order to reflect the current needs of the farming sectors this annual figure must rise to around £400M.

“And it must be increased on an annual basis, thereafter, in order to keep pace with inflation.”

In conclusion Brian Lockhart echoed the views expressed by the UFU president.

He said: “The opportunities that enhanced levels of food production can create will deliver enhanced economic benefits across the entire Newry Show catchment area."

He concluded: “In the meantime, all our plans are fast falling into place for our big event on Saturday, 29 June.

“Everyone will be made more than welcome on the big day.”