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Castlewellan Show Is Celebrating 50 Years

5 June 2017

A great crowd attended the launch of this year’s Castlewellan Show in the beautiful setting of Castlewellan Forest Park.   It was tinged with sadness as tributes were paid by each speaker to committee member Ally Whan who passed away recently. 

Chairperson Fiona Patterson opened proceedings, thanking sponsors and hosts at Castlewellan Castle.  The Show is delighted to have the continued support of EDA Media and Newry, Mourne & Down Council as well as this year benefitting from the DAEFA NI Regional Food Programme offering a great opportunity to showcase the wonderful local produce.  Acknowledging the work of the committee, she reminded the audience of the huge voluntary contribution which makes the Show happen each year.   For our 50th year, the Show is thrilled to have Mrs Anna May McHugh, President of the National Ploughing Association as a guest judge, an event which has gone from a small local entity  to an international attraction.  Following the success of the introduction of new classes last year with the NI Pygmy Goat Club and Dexter cattle, Castlewellan will once again be hosting the British Wool Board Golden Fleece Competition.  A presentation of the new James Graham Perpetual Cup  for the Hereford Champion was presented to cattle chairperson Arthur Malone.

The launched welcomed Newry, Mourne & Down District Council chairperson Gillian Fitzpatrick on one of her final engagements before handing over her chain.   Gillian, from a farming background, spoke about her fondness for agricultural shows, a testament to the people who are here and those in the past.  She acknowledged the importance of Castlewellan Show to the agricultural and rural community and also to the economy, bringing visitors to the area.

The final speaker was Molly Robinson, who at 84 years, has attended 49 shows with her husband Cecil and this year will be their 50th .  Molly spoke about the introduction of Charolais cattle to Northern Ireland in 1966, their first purchase of a heifer in 1967 which motivated them to attend the new Castlewellan Agricultural Show and as the herd grew they have returned ever since.  Molly and Cecil were eventually invited onto the committee and have been key stalwards over the many years.   She thanked the many Show members over that time who have provided such friendship, acknowledging Violet Bell and Alex Woods.

Fiona Patterson ended the speeches thanking our effervescent and hard working Show Secretary Jackie Fitzpatrick as well as Alex Woods for making a beautiful anniversary cake for the occasion. The audience was entertained by Q Radio’s Big O with a few yarns and jokes.

This year’s Show takes place in Castlewellan Forest Park on Saturday 15th July.  Schedules and trade forms can be downloaded now from .  The deadline for entries to all classes is June 19th