Farm Ireland

Saturday 25 November 2017

Show still strong after 185 years

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

The history of the Iverk Show, which first began in 1826, is a fascinating story, interwoven with the local area and the agricultural trends of the past 185 years.

Iverk Show president Joe Malone says the show takes its name from the area surrounding the village of Piltown, some 41,369 acres of land known as the Barony of Iverk.

For many years, the local people referred to the show as the "Barony meeting".

The show was founded by the Bessborough family, who lived in the Bessborough House (now Kildalton Agricultural College) until the 1920s.

The show, which was held on the lawns of Bessborough House, was intended to be a showcase for new ideas and agricultural improvements to the local area.

At the time, Bessborough House policy was to employ a top class English farm manager at all times, which played a major role in developing local farming.

The show was founded on the basis of being non-political and non-sectarian; not too easy in the times that it was in, but the show survived and thrived.

Only the war and, more recently, foot and mouth disease forced the show's cancellation.

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In 1897, the Waterford News reported that the judges were "highly pleased with the cows and heifers exhibited, and a distinct improvement was noticed when compared with former years".

However, the judges were scathing in their appraisal of the flower class, saying "there were very few entries and not much taste shown".

Silage was made for the first time at the Bessborough farm in 1922 and many other ideas came on stream throughout the show's 185 years.

Caitriona Murphy

Indo Farming