Scarcity of conkers almost knocked out festival but it goes ahead after successful appeal

The drama of this year’s Irish Conker Championships began even before the popular annual event was launched. The unique festival was almost cancelled at one stage. There was a significant scarcity of conkers to be found due to the deadly “Bleeding Canker” disease which affected at least half of the trees in Kilkenny and surrounding counties. However, on foot of an appeal to the public to donate supplies of conkers to the Freshford Conker Headquarters (text 087 9912355), the conker committee have vowed to keep the festival alive and produce an even more exciting festival than ever before!

The drama of this year’s Irish Conker Championships began even before the popular annual event was launched. The unique festival was almost cancelled at one stage. There was a significant scarcity of conkers to be found due to the deadly “Bleeding Canker” disease which affected at least half of the trees in Kilkenny and surrounding counties. However, on foot of an appeal to the public to donate supplies of conkers to the Freshford Conker Headquarters (text 087 9912355), the conker committee have vowed to keep the festival alive and produce an even more exciting festival than ever before!

Cormac Battle, the Kilknny born 2FM DJ, was on hand to help launch this years festival, which will be held on The Green, Freshford on Sunday, October 28. The usual programme of event favourites such as Art in the Annex, the Loop Walk and the Tea Tent will be on The Green together with lots of new activities.

With a pig on a spit, clay pottery workshop for children, artisan treats, handmade jewellery, free kids U-7 tent and bouncy slide to name just a few of the attractions, the challenge for the visitor will be to take part in as many activities as possible (see the website address below for full programme). The Championship itself is an all out crusade to find the most agile and determined Conkerer for 2012. While the Freshford locals take the competition very seriously, the essence of the game is fun and comradery. Visitors to the area always form a strong part of the competition and Freshfordians have long been noted for their friendliness to their guests.

The festival is rounded off by Edinburgh Fringe sellout Abie Philbin Bowman and his hilarious and extremely witty take on the world around us and current affairs in particular. O’Farrells bar will be the place to be on Sunday, October 28 at 9pm for the best value entertainment you will find anywhere. Tickets are amazingly priced at €5 and this is thanks to James O’Farrell, the Conker Committee and Abie Philbin Bowman himself. Proceeds from this one of a kind festival go towards Prague House, Freshford which provides unparalleled care and attention to our elderly locals. The competition kicks off at 12 noon with registration at 12.30. Visit www.irishconkerchampionship.com