|The Irish Country Lifestyle Festival - " The biggest and
best Game Fair in Ireland AND much, much more!"
|Following the success of the 2004 Festival in just its first year at Shanes
(and second year in total) It was interested to see if the organising team
would "rest on their laurels" as most of the Game Fair organisers in Ireland
appear inclined to do or would drive through to fulfil their published
objective i.e. "to create a new generation country show with real and
unrivalled rural and urban appeal".
Having arguably become the No 1 countrysports fair in Ireland in 2004 through
the size of the show, the crowds it attracted and of course winning the
prestigious NITB Marketing Excellence Award (with the Moira Fair being one of
the runner ups) and followed this up with an even greater success in 2005 one
could have understood that the organisers might have become complacent and
produced a rather similar event.
However one had only to visit Shanes Castle at any time over 2005/2006 to
realise that once again the organising team had stepped up another gear to put
this event into a totally different league to any other Game or Country Fair in
Ireland. The possible exception might have been the Fair at Emo sadly cancelled
in 2007 and we understand from newspaper reports the company organising it has
gone into liquidation.
|Fair Directors Edwin Dash(Operations), Albert Titterington (Marketing), Irene
Titterington (Adminstration), John McClelland (Countrysports), and Paul
Robinson (Stand sales) and Chairman Michael Dickey, have an impressive track
record of delivering successful indoor and outdoor events over 30 years and it
shows in organisation that goes like clockwork - whatever the weather. And in
2006 the Sunday was very wet to start. However this only demonstrated the
strength of the show in that crowds were only very marginally affected and the
show grounds were in fact a colourful sea of umbrellas. It does help of course
that at Shanes Castle there are none of the horrendous parking or access
problems seen at some of the smaller shows - up to 5,000 cars can be parked
within 6 feet of roadway!
Overall the programme on both years was fantastic with a real gunmakers row in
2006 enhanced by the presence of Churchills; a solid fishersmans row (plus an
excellent programme of events for the angler) and truly fantastic gundog events
with a massive turnout of gundogs and their handlers on both days. Added to
this are the Irish Falconry Championship; N.Ireland's major hound show; the All
Ireland Terrier and Lurcher Championships and clay pigeon shooting competitions
with fantastic prizes and you can see why this event is described as Ireland's
premier Game Fair.
When you throw in a fully functioning medieval village with groups from all
over Ireland and the UK and the Lough Neagh Festival with its water based
activities - once again you can see how the overall event has earned the
soubriquet - "Not only Ireland's No 1 Game Fair but much, much more...!"
A Sea of Umbrellas - Crowds in the wet on Sunday
|With the 30th Anniversary Irish Game Fair celebrations planned for 2007 plus
the new fair at Birr, The Irish Country Lifestyle Festival proudly takes its
place as one of the two GREAT GAME FAIRS OF IRELAND and a worthy successor to
the first major Irish Game Fair founded in 1978.