Fermanagh County Show will not go ahead in its normal format this year, it has been announced. 

Instead of the traditional two-day affair which boasted the title of the oldest two-day Show in Ireland, much of the livestock judging will now take place on farms, while the popular children's section will still be exhibited.

Following a full evaluation of last year’s Show, which took place at Castle Irvine Estate, Irvinestown, and considering the numerous issues facing the County Fermanagh Farming Society Ltd. to organise a large-scale community event - with factors including rising costs of up to 35 per cent, particularly for insurance, as well as other factors such as health and safety, more demanding risk assessment regulations for volunteers, and other issues - it was decided that to organise a Show as in previous years was "unsustainable".

In a statement, the Society said: “After much soul searching, we decided that Fermanagh County Show in its usual format is unsustainable, and we do not have the voluntary workforce to roll it out.

"Covid-19 had an adverse effect on the Show, and there is not the same pool of expertise available to act as stewards, as many of the farmers that previously volunteered now work part-time off farm." 

However, some element of the Show will continue, including the school children's section, and some livestock classes will be judged on farms. 

A spokesperson for the Society continued: “One of the biggest sections of the Show - the huge schoolchildren’s section, with almost 3,000 entries - is going ahead as normal, with the judging of Phase One taking place after Easter, and the children will work on the crafts section until the end of June.

"This reinforces County Fermanagh Farming Society’s objective of engaging with the younger members of our rural community in agricultural-based disciplines.

"This showcase of children’s exhibits will be open to the public over the two days of August 2 and 3, with a venue to be confirmed.

“The successful Suckler Cow Classic and Breeding Heifer Derby will be judged on farms as a herds Competition.

"This will be open to all Fermanagh farmers to encourage efficiency in breeding suckler calves for today’s commercial market.

"A leading judge will visit farms and shortlist the finalists, and video footage will be taken and shown at the Autumn prizegiving for the finalists.

“A new initiative this year is to find the top commercial sheep flock in Fermanagh, with sheep also being judged on farms across a number of criteria.

"Further details for these competitions will be released later in Spring.

"The Society’s Directors are working on a five-year plan with particular emphasis on education and agriculture, encouraging school competitions and supporting young farmers involved in farming in the county."