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Gildernew promotes the value of Agricultural Shows at Fermanagh Conference

24 November, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has addressed the Irish Shows Association annual conference dinner at Lough Erne Golf Resort in Fermanagh.

The Irish Shows Association is the representative body for Agricultural Shows throughout Ireland and membership of the association is open to all recognised Show Societies.

Speaking at the association's conference dinner the minister said:

"Agricultural Shows are a great tradition in rural communities stretching back many generations and are still very much a celebration of rural life. They are an integral part of the fabric of rural life, they give our rural communities a focal point and the high attendances that our shows attract are proof of how important they are in rural areas.

"Attending their local agricultural shows throughout rural Ireland is still a key date in the rural family calendar. The events give people in rural communities the opportunity to 'show off' everything that is good about them and their area. I always find the diversity of the displays on show very encouraging from livestock to home industries. These differing facets of rural life all come together in one place for all to see and enjoy."

During her speech to delegates, the minister also referred to the associations' concerns regarding animal disease and movement restrictions for livestock breeders within Ireland. She said:

"My officials continue to work closely with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in Dublin to simplify the rules regarding movement of animals between jurisdictions. Our final objective will be a have system in place whereby we can move animals throughout the island without compromising the integrity of our disease control measures." ENDS

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