03 Apr 2020
Covid-19 Impacting Heavily on 2020 Shows Calendar
The Irish Shows Association is very aware that these are unprecedented and difficult times for our members and indeed for our sponsors. None of us could have anticipated the situation with COVID-19. We, like so many other sporting and community organisations, are having to wait and see what the coming weeks and months will bring. There is no doubt that this crisis will have a significant impact on our show calendar for the upcoming 2020 season.
Usually, coming into Easter, plans and preparations are in full swing in committees throughout the country; animals are being prepared, recipes fine-tuned, knitting needles are in full flight. This year, we are facing uncertainty, and most are forced to hit the pause button on preparations. A good number of our stalwart volunteers are currently cocooning in their own homes, in accordance with government guidelines, and we wish all our members continued good health and urge you all to follow the guidance of the government and the public health agencies.
Many of our loyal sponsors, both on local and national level, have had their businesses impacted severely by this crisis. We would urge our members to do what you can to support those local businesses that have been such a huge support to your shows over the years in whatever way possible.
The Irish Shows Association wishes to acknowledge the Department of Rural and Community Development and Minister Michael Ring and his staff for their continued support of our shows. The Department has agreed that grant funding issued for 2020 can be ring-fenced and held in trust until 2021 for shows that are unable to run this year. We thank the Department most sincerely on behalf of our member shows. This funding will be a great help to shows trying to pick up and get going again in 2021. We ask all shows to cooperate fully with us in this regard and adhere strictly to the procedure outlined.
The Irish Shows Association Executive is in regular contact with shows about the current state of play and we would appreciate if shows could follow any and all guidelines issued. The board will be meeting regularly by conference call as the situation unfolds. For now, the publication of our guidebook has been postponed until we have a clearer picture. We are still hopeful that a somewhat delayed and shorter show season is still likely. At all times, we will be bound by the advice of the various government agencies and will place the safety of our members, exhibitors and patrons above all else.
Unsurprisingly, in the light of the current situation, several of our member shows have taken the difficult but prudent decision to cancel for 2020. We are working with other early shows to look at possibilities of rescheduling to later in the year. We will update this list of cancellations and postponements weekly as the situation develops.
Shows Cancelled for 2020
It is not an easy decision to take for any show committee. We will be sorry to lose these events from our calendar in 2020 and look forward to welcoming them back in 2021.