As a child I remember our journeys on the horse and cart to the Kildysart show every Summer. My Gran and Granddad lived on a farm in Rosshill. In my memory, the weather was always glorious. “Grandpa” as we called him, never drove a 'Motor'. And as a child, I liked it that way. Hitching up the horse and cart was an event to celebrate, there was an element of danger which always exhilarated, a sense of freedom. Car seats and seat belts had no place in the real world. There were in fact a shortage of cars in Kildysart back in the seventies. On occasion Micko was hired to drive them, he drove a beetle.
"There is a beer tent, which tends to attract a crowd."
Today, in the West of Ireland, very few traditional annual cultural events have grown and blossomed in recent decades. Emigration has always drained local vitality and energy, but the Kildysart show, held each August, has ignored the trend. It has indeed grown, a success that pivots on the sheer determination of the villagers and in particular the hardy souls of the "show committee". My mum until recently was a member of the 'show committee' and buzzed around the Hall organising entries in categories such as turf and cabbage. Sadly, illness has put a halt to her involvement this year. I wander out each year and judge the photography entries, yes there is even a photography section. It has not reached the pinnacles of the National Portrait Gallery, but I enjoy it all the same. There are categories such as “Comical with a caption” so it has a light hearted unique perspective.
There is a lot to see on the day, horse jumping, a dog show, floral judging and bouncing castles come to mind. There is a beer tent, which tends to attract a crowd, a great place to meet new friends and catch up with the relations.