Programme Cover for Tydavnet Show designed by Aoibhe Genoe, Magherarney NS


 Michael Fisher  Northern Standard Thursday 25th August 2016 p.19

The weather wasn’t the best but those who made it to Tydavnet Show to celebrate its 65th year found plenty to entertain them. For those with entries in the various classes including home industries there was intense but friendly competition, with plenty of silverware handed out to the winners.

It was an early start at the Drumshevra showgrounds for the 100 or so stewards who help every year to make this an important day in the calendar for the rural community of North Monaghan and further afield. From 9am the site began to fill with early arrivals for the livestock classes and the horses.

Following heavy rainfalls on Friday, the sportsman jumping which would have been the first event had to be cancelled because of the ground conditions. With a close eye continuing to be kept on the weather, the show went on and the only other casualty for safety reasons was the last event, Tydavnet’s Fittest Family.

Throughout the day people continued to come through the gates, young and old and many in-between. A heavy shower of rain at lunchtime probably had an impact on the numbers and created muddy conditions on many of the paths in the fields. However that did not stop the crowd from enjoying the show.

There was dancing on the deck to the Queen of Country, Philomena Begley from Pomeroy in County Tyrone. Her repertoire included “Blanket on the Ground”, with which she enjoyed chart success. Philomena was accompanied by up-and-coming country star, Cliona Hagan from Ballinderry. She soon had the crowd jiving and swinging along with the music.

This year’s Show President is Patricia Hughes and Mary Sherry is Vice President. The Chairperson is Peggy Treanor and Seamus Sherry, a former President, is Vice Chairman.

Peggy Treanor thanked all the sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers, trade stands, veterinary surgeons and land owners who supported the show every year. She extended thanks to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the year to make it such a successful event.

Suzanne Graham from Tirnamona, Ballinode, is the Show Secretary, who has responsibility for processing all the entries. She is assisted by three others, Carmel Meehan and Patricia Hughes, along with Catherine O’Donoghue and Annette O’Donoghue from Tydavnet. Catherine’s involvement in running the Show goes back some fifty years to the time when she helped her parents at the event when she was only 10 years old.

Another volunteer for many years is the Treasurer, George McCarron from Carrickaderry, Clontibret. He served as President for two years, as Chair for eight years and has been sixteen years in the role of Treasurer. He is assisted by Heather Stirrat from Ballinode.

The chief safety officer is Gerard Meehan and publicity is the responsibility of Barry Sherry and Gerard Sherlock, along with a team handling social media to promote the event: Claire Daly, Suzanne Graham and Conor McCarra.

Tydavnet Parish Show is affiliated to the Irish Shows Association, Co. Monaghan Community Network, and is linked to Armagh County Agricultural Show.

The Parish Priest of Tydavnet Reverend Brian Early is a patron of the show along with Canon Ian Berry of the Church of Ireland and Ballyalbany Presbyterian Minister Reverend Stephen McNie, along with the two Bishops of Clogher, Most Reverend Liam Mac Daid and Right Reverend John McDowell. Fr Early was among the visitors to the show during Saturday afternoon.

This year saw the revival of the Tydavnet Show Queen. After an absence of some thirty years, the committee decided to run a competition to select a 2016 Show Queen. Six ladies came forward for selection and the winner was a local lady, Sinead McCarey, representing McMahons Shop, Scotstown.

Sinead has a strong agricultural background and has already attended many functions as part of her duties. The committee expressed their thanks to Sinead for her contribution and wearing the Tydavnet Show Queen sash and tiara with pride.

Sinead accompanied one of the oldest residents in the parish, Pat McArdle (who recently celebrated his 90th birthday) in cutting a tape and formally declaring the show open. They were joined by Pat’s wife Nora at the display of threshing by Monaghan Veteran and Vintage Club. Norah McArdle is another of the volunteers who helps ensure the show runs smoothly and assists at the dog show and in one of the marquees.

The chief steward in the beef section is Henry Blackburn from Drumgoask, Monaghan. He won first prize in the category for a non-pedigree suckler cow with calf at foot and came second in another class for non-pedigree beef male or female over one year old.

Henry told me he had become involved with the show at the age of fourteen, when he was working at Pattons in Monaghan. He was asked to be a steward at the show and has been helping out ever since.

This year there was another fine display in the poultry section. The overall champion prize went to a Kraienkoeppe hen entered by Ryan McLaren from Dromore in County Down. The breed originates in the border region between Germany and the Netherlands. The birds have an upright stance, long back, strong head and are very fully feathered in the hackle and saddle. The walnut comb and wattles are quite small.

According to one of the judges, “Ryan knows his stuff” and he praised the great presentation of the bird. The teenage farmer started selling eggs from his own chickens when he was six. He rears bantams, silkies and cockerels for competition at agricultural shows and has competed before at Tydavnet. Michael Sherlock from Roslea won the overall reserve champion prize for a duck.

The “Taste of Tydavnet” marquee sponsored by McMahon Centra of Scotstown was popular and featured various stalls relating to home produce and health. Pollock’s homemade pickles and preserves from Cornamundy had a variety of jars for sale. Among the visitors was Francis Meehan from Ardaghy who has been coming to the show for the past 25 years but did not bring his bike this year because of the weather.

Meanwhile Squealing Pig chef Adrian Hackett was busy giving cookery demonstrations. Next week’s issue will feature photos of the cup winners and from the home industries section of the show

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