The Mullingar Show display at the St Patrick's Day parade.

Volunteers still needed, ‘even at this late stage’

Mullingar Show

It’s all systems go as Mullingar Show Society prepare for a bigger and better than ever agricultural show at their Cullion show grounds on Sunday July 14. Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Peter Burke, TD, whose family has long associations with the show, will perform the official opening, and music will be provided by award winning country music star, Robert Mizzell.

There will be a host of horse and pony shows, livestock competitions, including several all-Ireland qualifiers, fruit and vegetable classes, arts and crafts, and photography competitions, and the dog show – which attracts huge entries every year.

There will be a cookery demonstration, a most appropriately dressed couple competition, trade stands, amusements and lots more.

Mullingar Show has been a highlight of the county calendar since it was first held 188 years ago at the Newbrook Racecourse, and celebrates the best in farming, rural interests and country living.

“The show doesn’t run itself,” PRO Paddy Donnelly said, adding that once the show is over, the small core committee and volunteers start work on the next show and the ongoing maintenance of the show grounds.

The committee is headed by chairman Chris Dolan from Portloman, Mullingar, along with secretary Eileen White from Moigh, Ballymahon, assistant secretary, Louise Glennon from Dysart, and treasurer, Fintan Conway from Glascorn, Ballinea. The president is Joe Dolan from Portloman, who has been involved for decades, as has Margaret Caton, one of the longest serving members of the committee.

Joe and Margaret Henson from Rahugh, are in charge of the cattle classes, and Enda Geoghegan from Walshestown, Mullingar, and Aidan Keena from Glascorn, are over the sheep section. Rosaleen Barry, Raharney, runs the horse and pony shows. Sarah Dolan, Oldcastle, and Louise Donnelly, Balrath House, Slanemore, run the dog show.

Agnes Moore, Irishtown, Mullingar, looks after the indoor classes and her husband, Tom, looks after the outdoor stands. Mary McCormack from Mullingar looks after the indoor stands. James Fox, Kinnegad, is in charge of parking and Des Farrell from Sonna and his team do most of the maintenance work at the show grounds.

The ladies committee organise many events on the day and also provide refreshments for the volunteers who spend most evenings these weeks getting the grounds ready. Mr Donnelly said: “Even at this late stage, we’re looking for more volunteers to do painting and other work.”

Events start at 10am and admission is €15 for adults, €10 for students and OAPs, and children under 10 years are free.

Jonathon Forbes (Kepak) Paddy Donnolly (PRO) and Chris Dolan (chairman).
Eileen White (secretary), Arthur Neale (sponsor) and Marian Mortell (sponsor)
Danny Wallace, Chris Dolan, Roger Nicholson, Louise Lennon, Charles Woolard, Des Farrell, Joe Henson and John Kenny on Thursday evening.
Joe Henson and Chris Doran with Minister Peter Burke.
Andrew Bannon, Oliver Flanagan, Margaret Henson and Richard O'Brien at the Annebrook House Hotel.
Gearoid Brennan, Roger Nicholson, Des Farrell, Margaret Caton, Margaret Duffy and Tom Allen at the launch.
Susan Nooney, Maureen Gaynor, Louise Gordon and Keith Nolan at Thursday's launch.
Jimmy Casey, Eunan Bannon, Martin Ginnell and John Kenny.
Kathleen Donnolly, Danny Wallace, Deputy Robert Troy, Rosaleen Barry and Maureen Gaynor at The Old House.
Agnes Moore, Tom Moore, Aideen Ginnell and Ruth Illingworth at the launch event.
Joe Henson (committe member) , Fintan Conway, (treasurer), Paddy Donnolly, (PRO), Eileen White (secretary) and Chris Dolan (chairman).
The atendees at the launch of the 2024 Mullingar Show.
Aidan Keena, Ciaran McKenna and Patrick Leavy on Thursday.
John Young with Eamon O'Reilly from AIB.