Funding granted for Donegal’s Agricultural Shows this year is being held in trust until 2021, Mr Michael Ring TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development has confirmed.
Five Donegal shows were granted funds of €5,000 each to stage their events in 2020: Ardara, Inishowen, Clonmany, Finn-Valley and Glencolmcille.
However, the shows that have to be cancelled due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus can now claim the grant in 2021 instead.
The Minister’s comments come at the start of what would normally have been a very busy period for Shows around the country.
Speaking today, Minister Ring stated: “Late last year, I allocated €600,000 to the Irish Shows Association to support approximately 120 Agricultural Shows around the country that were due to take place during 2020.
“As a result of the COVID-19 emergency, the Irish Shows Association has recommended the cancellation of all shows until restrictions are lifted and public safety can be ensured.
“Due to the extraordinary circumstances that we are experiencing at this time, in cases where an affiliated show is cancelled this year, I have asked the Irish Shows Association to hold the funding allocated for that show in trust, so that it can be used in 2021 if the show goes ahead.
“Any agricultural shows that can safely take place later in 2020 as restrictions are lifted, and in line with public health advice, can continue to utilise the funding available to them in 2020.
“I want to thank the Irish Shows Association for working with my Department on this arrangement and for their on-going advice to their members during the COVID-19 crisis.”
Minister Ring added: “Agricultural shows are a great celebration of all that is good about rural Ireland. They provide a welcome boost for local economies and attract visitors to support our rural communities. Many shows have experienced disruption before and have bounced back through the efforts and resilience of local organisers. I have no doubt that this will be the case again when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed and we can gather safely in our communities once more in line with public health advice.
“I hope the contribution which my Department has made to the Shows will be a help in this regard. Each qualifying show will receive a payment of approximately €5,000 to support their event.”
In total since 2017, the Department of Rural and Community Development has allocated approximately €2 million to assist with the running costs of the Agricultural Shows.