60,000 throng to Ireland's biggest show
Farming spirits were high at Tullamore Show on Sunday as a crowd of more than 60,000 people flocked to the Butterfield Estate to enjoy Ireland's biggest one-day agricultural show.
Buoyed up by good weather and with the stress of the spring fodder crisis finally beginning to recede, farmers and their families spent the day relaxing and chatting with competitors and exhibitors.
Among those touring the show were ABP boss Larry Goodman and his grandson, who took time out to visit the Hereford Prime stand and assess the best beef animals in the country taking part in the AIB National Livestock Show.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney received a warm welcome from the crowd, and praised "formidable" Freda Kinnarney, Tullamore Show secretary, chairman Rodney Cox and the committee for their work in staging the event.
"I believe we may well see it becoming more than a one-day show. Your successful networking event on the night before the show may be a test of things to come," said Minister Coveney.
Lobbying in favour of the suckler cow was in full flight at the show, with everyone from the IFA to the Irish Shows Association incoming president Jim Harrison urging the Minister to promote the suckler herd in both CAP and national budget negotiations.
"I get the message about the suckler herd," said Minister Coveney with a grin as he officially opened the show.