Farm Ireland

Monday 16 July 2018

Possibly soon-to-be-extinct breeds to take centre stage at Limerick Show

A Droimeann cow and calf. The Droimeann is one of the rare Irish breeds which will be on display at the Limerick Show next weekend
A Droimeann cow and calf. The Droimeann is one of the rare Irish breeds which will be on display at the Limerick Show next weekend
Limerick Show organising committee members: (l-r) Leo Walsh, president; David Sheahan, incoming president Irish Shows Association; Richard Kennedy, chairman; Tom O’Donnell, formerly Shannon Development, who has been associated with the show for 40 years; and Doreen Corridon, chairperson, cattle committee

There will be a focus on traditional native Irish breeds of livestock, some of which have become almost extinct, at Limerick Show on Sunday.

Among the rare breeds on show will be the Irish Droimeann cow, which is the subject of a revival programme.

Kerry-based organic farmer Tom Keane is one of a small group of people actively working for the preservation of the breed.

"We have received a grant of €10,000 from the Department of Agriculture towards genetic testing and we are working with ICBF and drafting rules for a new herd book. There are probably no more than 15 herds left in the country," he said.

The exhibition will also include the Bo Riabhach cow featured in the old fable 'An tSean-bhò Riabhach' as well as the Dexter, and Irish Moiled breeds.

There will also be Old Irish gamefowl and Galway sheep on display at the show which is being held at Limerick Racecourse and running to a one-day programme for the first time in its 88-year history.

There is a full programme of the usual classes in beef and dairy animals, horses and ponies.

This will include a Festival of Irish Breeding presented by the Traditional Irish Horse Association incorporating the famous Limerick Lady and Matron Championships.

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Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the show which has over 1,000 competitors and 150 trade exhibitors booked.

A new addition this year is the Limerick Show Food Village showcasing the very best of local produce. "Limerick Show has always been about showcasing the very best of Limerick and the surrounding areas," says show chairman Richard Kennedy who is also deputy president of the IFA.

"This year, we're delighted to shine a spotlight on local food producers, many of whom use locally sourced ingredients from the farming community.

"The link between farmers and food producers is a very important one that should be nurtured," added Mr Kennedy.

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