First Minister Arlene Foster and Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen visited the Fermanagh County Show today to meet with show organisers to congratulate them on winning the ‘best show in the UK in 2015’ title.
Mrs Foster said Fermanagh has a very strong agricultural community and this show is an excellent illustration of its strength and diversity.
She added: “This award winning event, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors, is one of Northern Ireland’s premier agricultural shows and is an annual highlight for many, myself included.
“I commend all those involved in making the 2016 Fermanagh County Show such a success.”
Miss McIlveen said: “I am delighted to be here in Fermanagh and have the opportunity to meet organisers and exhibitors from the west.
“Fermanagh County Show may be one of the oldest agricultural shows in Northern Ireland but it has clearly lost none of its appeal. I congratulate everyone associated with it for the outstanding achievement of winning the Farmers Guardian Show Business Award last year, marking Fermanagh County Show as the best in the UK.”
The Minster added: “This show offers a tremendous showcase for the talent and commitment of the many livestock, food and home industries exhibitors whom I have seen here today. I have thoroughly enjoyed the vast range of livestock classes, exhibits and activities on offer and have been impressed by the involvement of so many young people which augers well for the future of the show and the wider rural community as a whole.
“Fermanagh County Show continues to be one of the go-to events in the west for thousands of people. I commend the organisers and exhibitors for their dedication to maintaining the quality and variety of displays and family entertainment that I have experienced here today and wish everyone involved continued success in the future.”
Over the course of the summer, the Minister has also visited a number of other agricultural shows - Ballymena, Ballymoney, Armagh, Lisburn & Saintfield, Omagh, Antrim, Clogher Valley and Londonderry & Limavady.
The Minister concluded: “Each of the local shows has its own character and personality. As well as experiencing the many sights and sounds, I have welcomed the opportunity to meet the agricultural and rural communities across Northern Ireland.”
Earlier, Minister McIlveen visited the local DAERA Direct Office and the new Forest Service headquarters at Inishkeen House, Enniskillen. Approximately 115 DAERA staff are based in the building. This DAERA Direct office is one 12 offices delivering frontline services to local farmers across Northern Ireland.
The Forest Service is one of the largest landowners in Northern Ireland, and is responsible for the management of approximately 80,000 hectares of land. The new Forest Service HQ sits in the Fermanagh & Omagh council area within which there are 40 public forests.