Irish language series puts spotlight on the agricultural show scene

TG 4 SM Farm
above: Peter O’Malley and fellow judges at Omagh Show.

The popular Irish language country agricultural show series Beidh Aonach Amárach is back on screens this evening (Thursday, January 23), starting at 8pm on TG4.

Witness the excitement, tension and fun as we join the competitors going for glory at Ireland’s country shows and fairs.

With 140 agricultural shows across Ireland, this scene is hugely popular with competitors and spectators. Every year thousands of people spend months of preparation before travelling the country to take part in the competitions every weekend.

Throughout 2019 cameras and crews have been capturing the stories of the people of all ages and backgrounds who vie for the top spots in an amazing range of competitions.

We see competitors giving everything to be Best in Show – from cattle to cakes, sheep-shearing to flower-arranging, show-jumping to shiny cars, not forgetting the best vegetables, dogs, birds, clothes, art and craft.

The programme joins the army of volunteers who organise and judge these events. The pressure is on when several thousand people are going to descend on your village for the “show”. And choosing the top animal or display sometimes isn’t as straightforward as it seems.

‘Beidh Aonach Amárach’ takes viewers into the heart of the country show scene all over Ireland. In this six part series we visit all types of fairs from the ancient ‘Ould Lammas Fair’ in Ballycastle, County Antrim, to the very large – The Ploughing Championships in County Carlow; the very scenic – Clonmany Show in County Donegal and Puck Fair, County Kerry, and we also visit the traditional shows – Castlewellan Fair in County Down.

The series begins in Tyrone in glorious sunshine at the Omagh Show. Tyrone shows judge Peter O’Malley that Connemara doesn’t have a monopoly on fine Connemara ponies. Ciarán O’Rourke gets mouths watering with the smell of bacon, Cáit Ní Cheallaigh enters her first baking competition with future dreams of entering The Great British Bake Off. Music from Omagh Community Choir and Cliona Hagan all add to the fun of the fair.

Throughout the series we meet competitors who travel from all over the country to take part and we also meet many people who attend because it’s a great day out.

That red rosette is a prize worth winning and the competitors take it very seriously. The show scene is great fun and an opportunity to catch up with friends and fellow enthusiasts.

Beidh Aonach Amárach is made by independent production company Crawford McCann Television, with support from Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund, for TG4 and BBC Gaeilge.

n Catch the first episode on TG4 tonight (Thursday) at 8pm.

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