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Saturday 10 December 2016

Virginia celebrates 70 years of show success

Organisers keen to promote the high standards in Ireland's livestock industries

Kathleen Duffy and Caitriona Murphy

Published 26/07/2011 | 05:00

Virginia Show takes place for the 70th time on Saturday in what must be one of the most unique settings in Ireland for an agricultural show. Livestock classes, cookery demonstrations and bustling stalls will be set up along the shore of Lough Ramor, one of Co Cavan's 365 lakes.

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The lake, which is estimated to be almost 2,000ac in size, has 32 islands dotted throughout its waters and is relatively shallow, with a maximum depth of six metres.

For anyone interested in finding out more about the lake, Cavan Canoeing will be offering canoe lessons on the water throughout the day.

However, the landlubbers will be relieved to find that all the biggest attractions -- and 450 competitive classes at the Virginia Show -- are on dry land.

Earlier this year, the show society welcomed President Mary McAleese to Virginia, which was once known as the "Killarney of the North", where she spent time celebrating the achievement of the show committee over the past 70 years.

Mrs McAleese encouraged all the society's members to keep up the tradition and the good work, and congratulated them on having a vision for the future development of the society.

"Agriculture is one of the few sectors of the economy with growth and Virginia Show is an important agricultural event, attracting leading national competitions and exhibitors from the 32 counties," says Virginia Show president Ned Duffy.

As Irish consumers become more and more aware of the importance of food traceability and food security, the Virginia Show committee is keen to promote the high standards of the Irish dairy, beef and sheep industries.

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Highlights of the agricultural show include the hotly contested Baileys Champion Dairy Cow Competition, which has a prize fund of €9,000 this year. Other dairy classes include the Glanbia Virginia €700 Friesian In-calf Heifer class, and the Lakeland Dairy Champion of the Show.

The beef and pedigree cattle sectors are well catered for, with competitions such as the Gunne Carnaross Mart All-Ireland €2000, the Male/Female Weanling Champion classes and the Liffey Meats €2,000 Champion Beef Bullock, as well as numerous other breed championships.

The Virginia Show committee has embraced new technology on all fronts and competitors and guests can now keep up to date with the results and last-minute information on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the show's website, www.virginiashow.com.

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