THIS year’s annual Ardara Show has been cancelled, it has been confirmed.
The famous show, scheduled for August 8, was to be held at Sandfield, a scenic area controlled by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The show was attended by none other than film star, Sarah Jessica Parker, a number of years ago.
The show committee released a statement today, however, it is unclear why exactly the event has been cancelled.
One of the key agricultural events in the county, and held at Sandfield for the past three years, the move following discussions between the organisers and the NPWS.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the show committee on Friday evening is a “regretted one for all parties concerned”.
The Sandfield area is part of a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the subject of an independent 150 page Natura Impact Study, commissioned by the NPWS on behalf of the show committee. The committee contacted the NPWS to discuss making an application on foot of the Natura Impact Statement and the committee was informed of the mitigating factors that would need to be addressed in order to be able to consider an application.
Show chairman, Mr Cathal Mooney, said: “While we believe our appeal is on the Minister’s table, we are running out of time with just nine weeks to go. That leaves us little or no time in which to organise such a major event. The decision to cancel is regretted, especially as it brings considerable revenue to the Ardara and the surrounding area. Sandfield provided a much larger and drier area, together with separate car parking, making it a safer place to run the show for all concerned.”
Two other venues were considered, including the vastly improved former show field in Ardara, but it was felt that possible limitations for 2015 precluded them.
The show committee will now meet with relevant departments, examine in detail the points made in the NPWS report and formulate a professional approach which, it is hoped, will see a return to Sandfield in 2016.
It is understood that Donegal will receive approximately €250,000 in grant aid towards developing dressing rooms at the new...