JAMES O’Dwyer recieved a hero’s welcome when he attended the Iverk Show on Saturday after his heroics at the Paralympics Games in London where he won a bronze medal for Ireland in the mixed equestrian team event. He was bust signing autographs and was introduced to the crowd by MC, Pat “The Pilot” Conway and he was swamped by well-wishers. There was sporting them to the show which attracted thousands to the show grounds.With the All Ireland hurling replay in less than two weeks time, little wonder that hurling dominated talk at the event.
Kilkenny centre forward, TJ Reid who was one of the main attractions. The Ballyhale Shamrocks star must have the patience of a saint as he answered every question thrown at him with a welcome kindness and ease. His demeanour and attitude was in stark contrast to Joe Canning of Galway earlier in the week and he made no comment about the Tribesman marksmen.
He spent his tine signing autographs for the old and not so old and had smile for everyone at the Red Mills, Connolly’s of Goresbridge stand.
There was a big welcome for the great Paddy Prendergast of Clara and he must have been embarrassed by the mention he received from the man in charge of the public address system for the day, Pat “The Pilot” Conway. He was back to himself after being struck low last year by illness, he spent the day helping to find missing children and people losing car keys and finding mobile phones despite having buried his mother in law, Mrs Elizabeth Hanlon, who was 92 years old, a few days earlier,. He epitomises the community spirit of Iverk where the motto is the The Show Must go on.
One of the craft stands to catch my eye was that of Ainm Dó, run by Liz Cashin who lives in Courtnaboula West, Callan. She has been making name plaques since she returned from England in 1997. She works from my home in Callan and sells her products at various market, fair and events The plaques are all handmade from a modelling clay/dough, placed on a pine board, baked in the oven, hand painted and then lacquered for a nice gloss finish. Plaques for the girls comes with butterflies and ladybirds, and boys plaques comes with footballs and hurleys, cars or tractors. All plaques come with a picture hook on top for hanging.
The south Kilkenny Beekeppers@Associaitin had q stand and a hive in operation which attracted a buzz. They were very disappointed with the weather getting only 20% of the normal harvest of honey, so bad was the weather during the summer.
And Saturday was huge success for the committee of Iverk. After two months worry about wet weather and damage to parking areas and the show ground, the show was a huge success after a period of dry weather which made everything perfect for the big day. While the attendance was slightly behind the previous year’s record numbers, everything else was well up to expectations.All sections were more or less the same as in previous years and some sections were reported increased entries. Trade Stands were completely sold out despite the proximity of the All-Ireland Ploughing event.
The major events winners come from all over the country once again demonstrating the popularity of the Show throughout the Country with red rosettes going to places like Wexford, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Kilkenny & many other areas. All results will be available on the website during the week - www.iverkshow.com.
The Jumping Arena looked excellent with the new layout and new Jumps drawing many favourable compliments from competitors, sponsors and spectators. It attracted huge entries and did not finish until 7.30pm.
Chairman Walter Walsh and his team put on a top class event under difficult circumstances due to the bad weather. A huge amount of extra work was involved due to the postponement of the original date and it proves that all obstacles can be overcome.
Guest Speaker of the day was local man Liam Aylward MEP who said it was an honour to open the Show in his own homeland. He then went on to speak about the new Single Farm Payments currently being discussed in Brussels and said it was a great opportunity for Ireland to have a major input into these discussions because the country takes on the Presidency of the EU in 2013. He also appealed to all shareholders to avail of every opportunity to gain all the information possible in connection with the new Glanbia Co-op proposals before the vote in November. He emphasised the seriousness of the vote by asking everyone to attend their local meetings to obtain enough of information to help them decide on which vote to give.
John Bryan President of the IFA also spoke about the Glanbia vote amd the current difficulties facing farmers due to the massive increase in costs and the very bad weather throughout the summer.