Friday evening was an evening for fast feet and fashion as the crowds descended on Fermanagh County Show.

Despite intermittent showers, a large crowd visited the new-look showgrounds held at Castle Irvine Estate, Necarne, Irvinestown.

The general feeling among those attending was that Castle Irvine was a strong venue for the two-day show – the oldest two-day show in Ireland.

Traders in Irvinestown noted an upturn in trade and reported that some of the show attendees and traders had called to their premises.

Sixteen-year-old Samantha Hamilton from Florencecourt was crowned Show Queen.

Samantha is from a sheep and beef farm in Florencecourt and has an active interest in agriculture, and has begun to show Blue Texel sheep.

She hopes to develop her agriculture knowledge further by studying for a Level Three in Agriculture in Greenmount College.

She said: “I am pleased to be Show Queen, I wasn’t expecting it at all but I’m very happy!”

The fashionable teenager was crowned wearing a two-piece outfit from Quiz, and her favourite Fairfax and Favour boots from The Aul Forge, Gortin.

Meanwhile, fancy footwork was the order at the jiving competition with a great energy and enthusiasm from competitors.

The competition was moved inside due to weather, but attracted a large crowd of different ages.

Eight couples took part in total, and while judges Sandra and Rodney Noble deliberated, a number of competitors treated the crowd to a jive before the judges joined in.

The winners of the jiving competition were father and daughter duo Stewart and Ellie McKeown (14) from Maguiresbridge.

Speaking to this newspaper, Ellie – a student at Devenish College – said: “I grew up in a home with lots of music, and loved to dance.”

Her father echoed the sentiment and commented that it was “good to see young ones dancing”.

The pair were quick movers and impressed both the judges and

the crowd.

Elsewhere, the Best Dressed Lady for the 2023 Fermanagh County Show was Hannah Byers (27) from Lisbellaw.

Hannah wore a stylish ensemble of country brands Rydale, Joules and Barbour as well as a piece from high-street favourite Next. She teamed her ensemble with a pop of colour from her plum hat.

Linda Beacom, owner of Queen Bee, Fivemiletown, commented that judges had to focus on outerwear due to the weather, and remarked that “country style was still very popular at the show, and jeans and boots were popular, as well as Schoffel gilets”.

Results were as follows.


Puppy – 1. Heather Neill and Charlie the Cocker Spaniel; 2. Micheal McClaine and Princess Sabrina; 3. Alice Welsey Abraham and Holly.

Toy group – 1. Logan Mullen and Pedro the Chow wow 2. Michelle O’Neill and Dan; 3. Megan Withers and Max.

Utility – 1. Sarah Lynch and Polo the Dalmation; 2. Jolene Maye and Susie the Shitzu; 3. Ruban Walker and Bobby the Schnauzer

Hound – 1. Sharmaine McElwee and Tara; 2. Rebecca McKenzie and Mr. Sizzles; 3. Lyn Bussell and Harley

Pastoral - 1.Patricia Keegan and Slate; 2. Helen Daly and Barney; 3. Susan Bradley and Jake

Working – 1.Alan Irwin and Rosco; 2. Sarah Brown and Bruce; 3. Michael McClane and Sabrina

Any other breed – Andrew Callaghan and Skye; 2. Andrew Little and Ollie; 3. Timothy Lee and Cannie

Veteran – 1. Emma Hoey and Molly the Jack Russell; 2. Victoria Roberts and Harry; 3. Helen Daly and Barney

Jack Russell – 1. Emma Hoey and Molly; 2. George and Darcy Little with Artie;

Lakeland / Fell Terrier – 1. Sarah Brown and Bella; 2. Jack McRea with Brian; 3. Alfie McRea and Micah McRea with Bruno

Any Terrier Puppy – 1. Stephanie Gamble; 2. Annabelle McKenzie

Scott Trophy for Champion Terrier – Emma Hoey

Thornhill Trophy for Junior Handler – Lucy Horton

Killyreagh Cup – Stephen O’Bryan

Belmore Cup – Alan Irwin

All- Ireland Gundog Championship (Qualifier) – Stephen O’Bryans

Boyle Spaniel Qualifier – Stephen O’Bryans

Best in Show – Stephen O’Bryans

Cattle results

Castle Irvine Cup and £1000 first prize for suckler cow winner – David Boles.

Breeding heifer derby – 1, David Boles; 2, David Henderson; 3, Stephen McDonald.

Trophy for best non-pedigree beef type breeding heifer – David Boles.

Commercial cattle

Bull calf born in 2023 – 1, Fergal and Foncey Gormley; 2, Ivan Lynn; 3, Christopher McCrea.

Heifer calf born in 2023 – 1, Ivan Lynn; 2, Shauna McKenna; 3, Ivan Lynn.

Calf championship, baby beef heifer – 1, James Alexander; 2, Richard Law.

Baby beef bullock – 1, James Alexander; 3, Robert Miller.

Store bullock – 2, Robert Miller; 3, Shauna McKenna.

Store heifer – 1, Sam Matchett; 2, Richard Law; 3, Alan Veitch.

Store champion – Sam Matchett; Reserve – Richard Law.

Fermanagh Commercial Champion – Richard Law.

Breeding heifer – 1, Sam Matchett; 2 Ivan Lynn.

Suckler cow with show calf at foot – 1, Fergan and Foncey Gormley; 2, Fintan Keown; 3, Dessie O’Hanlon.

Best native animal – 1, Dessie O’Hanlon; 2, Leonard family; 3, Christopher McCrea.

Coloured Dairy

Heifer – 1, McNeely family; 2, Stewart and Nyree Baxter; 3, Sarah Doupe.

Calved heifer – 1, Stewart and Nyree Baxter.

Cow or calf in milk – 1, 2 and 3,Stewart and Nyree Baxter.

Group of three – Baxter family.

Champion and reserve – Stewart and Nyree Baxter.


Heifer born in 2023 – 1 and 2, Alan Paul; 3, Seamus Gunn.

Heifer born in 2022 – 1 and 2, Alan Paul; 3, Daniel Willis.

Heifer born in 2021 – 1, Jamie Sproule; 2, Sam Maxwell.

Calved heifer born in 2021 – 1, Conall Daly.

Cow and calf – 1, Seamus Gunn.

Cow and milk – 1, Alan Paul; 2, Conall Daly; 3, Seamus Gunn.

Group of three – 1, Seamus Gunn; 2, Conal Daly; 3, Alan Paul.

Champion – Alan Paul; Reserve – Conal Daly.

Dairy Babe Championship

Interbreed babe of the year calf – 1 and 2, Alan Paul; 3, Seamus Gunn.

All Ireland Dairy Championship

Best pair dairy cows in calf or milk – 1, Conall Daly; 2, Seamus Gunn; 3, Stewart and Nyree Baxter.

Dairy cow in milk – 1, Alan Paul; 2 and 3, Conal Daly.

Dairy cow or heifer in calf – 1,Seamus Gunn;2, Stewart and Nyree Baxter.

Supreme Dairy Championship for 1902 challenge cup – Alan Paul; Reserve – Conall Daly.

Dairy young handlers

Age 8-11 years – 1, Abbie McNeely; 2, Katie Morton; 3, Dylan Paul.

Age 12-16 years – 1, Daniel Willis; 2, Sam Maxwell; 3, Thomas Torrens.