Show milestone sets Paddy apart from rest

Martin Ryan

The show still goes on in the daily life of a Co Limerick farmer who has the distinction of being at the helm of the Cappamore Show for a record 50 years.

"I grew up with the show and it just fell into my routine. I'd probably miss it now," said Paddy Ryan, one of the longest-serving secretaries of any Irish agricultural show.

The east Limerick man has spent 50 years running the Cappamore event, one of the most successful rural shows in the country.

He is heading a voluntary committee of more than 100 people drawn from all sections of life in the area to organise the 56th Annual Agricultural Show at Cappamore. It takes place on Wednesday, August 18, under the chairmanship of Marie Hayes, whose son John is the Irish rugby international.

"It is hard to describe in words what the show has meant to Cappamore. It has brought people from all sectors to work together and has much broader implications for creating a community spirit in the area. It has united the community," he said.

"We have never had any problem getting young people involved because they want to be involved in the show. Some of them are now following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, who were involved in the running of the show in the past, and they feel it is an honour to be part of the team."

Livestock exhibitors will travel from Northern Ireland to compete against the cream of the crop from the Republic when the Irish Limousin Society Derby Championship final moves south for the first time.

They will also stage two events in All-Ireland Carriage Driving and a special section to commemorate the centenary of the founding of the ICA.

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