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Councillor Christopher O'Sullivan

Wednesday, 7th August, 2019 4:44pm

County Mayor's Diary by Cllr Christopher O'Sullivan

Festival season is still going strong in Cork, and I’m delighted to have attended many incredible events so far, with more still to come.

Last weekend saw the legendary Youghal Medieval Festival take over East Cork. You can’t overstate the benefits a good festival brings to a community and with this in mind, there’s another kind of event that takes place throughout the county that plays a central role in the Irish summer.

I am of course talking about the summer shows. The Munster Agricultural Society's Cork Summer Show took place earlier in June this year, shortly after the local and European elections.

I can think of no better event to kick off the next five years for county Cork. This 200-plus year old tradition, one of the largest of its kind in the country, provides a two-day snapshot of life in the county. This is the same for the many other summer shows that take place throughout Cork, each one boasting the pride of its host community.

While festivals celebrate a part of our culture, the summer shows celebrate everything. The best food, drinks, music, crafts and entertainment are showcased at these events which are also the arenas of business, trade and innovation. Cutting edge agri-machinery is celebrated alongside vintage cars. The best of local fashion and livestock are on display. There’s no better place to witness excellence in gardening and horticulture.

There’s no way I can give an exhaustive account of what you can expect from a summer show. Like villages and towns, each one is unique. So far, I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Cork Summer Show, the Barryroe Summer Show, the Carbery Summer Show, Clonakilty, and Charleville. All of them have their own history, traditions, and charm.

The benefits of such shows are manifold. They provide opportunities for trade and for business to take place. They allow farmers, producers, crafters and distributors a chance to market their goods. They provide people in agriculture, the most significant sector of our economy, the chance to proudly show their work to the wider community. Above all else, they bring people together.

Cork’s festivals have been hugely successful in drawing in visitors and this is also true of many of the agricultural shows. In the coming years, I hope to see the summer shows being places front and centre in our tourism offerings. They give potential visitors the chance to see what makes Cork tick, and give us the chance to show why this is such a great place to be

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