This weekend we should all be enjoying the 153rd Strokestown Agricultural and Industrial Show.
The first Show was held in the grounds of Strokestown Park House in 1867. It holds the Irish record for the longest running Agricultural Show, without any breaks (or pandemics!!). So how did it all begin?
In the aftermath of the Great Famine the process of getting the country back on its feet began. There was widespread recognition that there had been an overreliance of the potato crop. Starvation and emigration had decimated the population. Following the example of Britain and the effects of the industrial revolution a new scientific and innovative approach to farming was emerging. In tune with the spirit of the time and in response to the demand for flax as a raw material for the linen industry, Strokestown became an important flax growing area. The growing of this crop led to the formation of the Strokestown Farming Society which was supported by the major landowners of the Union. Having learned the lessons form the potato famine landowners were concerned that they could become equally reliant on the flax crop. At a dinner given to honour Mr. Christopher French, father of Percy French and Chairman of the county flax committee in December 1866, it was suggested that an agricultural society would be formed in Strokestown.
A meeting of the landed proprietors, tenant farmers and others interested in the Union of Strokestown was held at the local Court house for the purpose of establishing an Agricultural Society in the district.
Thus the stage was set for the first Strokestown Show on the 26th September 1867.
Here are some memories of the Strokestown Show over the years. if you have any pictures or stories, from the show, please share with us.
Beautiful and historic Strokestown, a focal point of Ireland's Hidden Heartlands, is perfectly situated halfway across Ireland:
* approximately 90 minutes from the hustle & bustle of Dublin (and Ireland's Ancient East) and Galway (on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way).
* just 40 minutes from Ireland West Airport in Knock.