The annual Irish Game Fair and Fine Food Festival lined up for Shane’s Castle on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, has had its launch.
Featuring a host of country-themed attractions, this year’s event will be ‘the year of the dog’.
The organisers hope the canine theme will have special appeal not only to dedicated countrysports fans and enthusiasts of working and gun dogs, but also to everyone who has ever enjoyed the companionship of a dog as the family pet.
Brownlow House in Lurgan, with its historic links to the legendary greyhound, Master McGrath, provided the perfect backdrop for Councillor Noreen McClelland, Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, and event organisers, to announce details of the programme.
The all-Ireland Lurcher 2017 Challenges at the Fair will honour the ‘Master’, while another race will celebrate the renowned County Offaly greyhound, Mick The Miller.
Councillor McClelland spoke of the support the Shanes Castle event will receive from the Council and revealed a major international Diaspora initiative, financially supported by the Taoiseach’s Diaspora Fund, which will feature all-Ireland angling initiatives, international gundog events, a special link between the Irish and Scottish Game Fairs; clay pigeon shooting; arena programmes sponsored by SuperValu and the NARGC plus two Fine Food Festival tented shopping villages packed with country lifestyle and artisan productsAlongside the two International Lurcher Challenges, a full programme of gundog and working dog events will be rolled out for Shane’s, which will host the Five Nations Lurcher, Terrier and Whippet Championships, the 30th Annual All-Ireland Championships at Shane’s Castle plus the Feedwell international team and individual retriever tests and the international Red Mills spaniel tests, together with skills demonstrations by The Red Mills international team.
The Game Fair at Shane’s Castle has always proved a draw for anglers and licence-holders can qualify for half-price admission to the Fair, which will also feature a range of activities for children, including a fairground, archery, craft classes and Mini Pony World Equestrian Experience, while the Living History Villages, Medieval Jousting and Battle Re-enactments are billed as promising fun for all the family.
For information visit www.irishgamefair.com/