Last Saturday, the 22nd August, should have been Iverk Show day 2020 but as we all know there was no event.

However, this was not the first time Iverk Show was cancelled in almost 200 years since it started in 1826. The last time was in 2001 due to the foot and mouth disease. On previous occasions this great family day out came back stronger the follow year. And have no doubt we will be back again on the 28th August in 2021. We are already making plans.

To mark the date of the 2020 Show members of the committee met last Saturday in the show field and planted an Irish Oak tree. President Jack Kearns planted the tree that all being well will be there for many years to come and will serve as a reminder to future generations.

Vice Chairman Willie Kearns said the committee were very disappointed not to be able to welcome all our friends and visitors to Piltown this year.

Members of our field committee have been very busy recently repairing and improving the boundary fencing. We are also examining ways to improve the landscape of the show ground. We will be interested to hear your comments when you return next year.

Looking back to 1844, the November issue of The Farmer’s Magazine reported that the judges were extremely satisfied with the standard of entries. Mr Peter Falconer, was awarded the Iverk farming Society medal. He produced sixty-one tons of Swedish turnips and sixty-nines tons of mangel wurzel, to the acre. The show of cattle was good and the old Irish cow still retained her popularity in the district. The attention of our society was directed to the all-important work of draining, and with the happiest results.

In 1852 the medal for the ‘Best Three-Year-Old Heifer’ was presented to Michael Power. In 1853 it was presented to Robert Blackmore while Joseph Magusth had the best ‘Sow and Litter’.

In 1871 Thomas Brennan of Oldcourt won the ‘Firkin of Butter’ class with a fantastic first prize of £2 – 10s; second, Mr Morris, Corlohan; third, James Duggan, Ballisle; fourth, Mrs Comerford, Tubride; fifth, Richard Brown, Ardcolan. How many of you know what a ‘Firkin of butter’ is?

Well, a ‘firkin’ was a British unit for the sale of butter and cheese. One firkin was equal to 56 pounds or 25 kilograms. The firkin class must have been a wonderful sight. Maybe we could have it again.

One hundred years ago in 1920 the Iverk Show was moved for the first time out of the Lord Bessborough’s demesne to adjoining ground given by Mrs Fitzpatrick. The Cup presented by J R Anthony was won by E A Power. The Society received a subsidy of £30 from Kilkenny County Committee of Agriculture.

If you have any memorabilia of the Iverk Show please let us know. All being well when we get back to ‘normal’ life we may have an Iverk Show memory night. In the meantime, stay safe.