The Ossory Show was founded in 1898. The showgrounds are located in Coolfin, Kilbreedy, Rathdowney, County Laois, in the heart of Ireland. Its’ central position is within easy reach from all parts of Ireland and has easy access from the new M7 and M8 motorways. The show was named after Lord Castletown its’ local patron, who was the Baron of Ossory. He lived at the nearby Granstown Manor, part of which is still standing. The Ossory Show originally took place at the Donaghmore Workhouse Museum and moved to Rathdowney in 1915.
Also in 1915, the Department of Agriculture for Queens County (as County Laois was previously known) gave a grant of £100 towards the running of the show. It has since been running continuously for over 100 years and has kept up with the changing times. The show took the title of Laois County Show in 1927, and affiliated with the Irish Shows Association in the 1940s.
The Show moved from the showgrounds in Rathtdowney to a temporary site at Ballacolla in 1999. In the year 2000, it moved to its’ present, permenant position at Coolfin, just outside the town of Rathdowney.
The show has a large variety of classes including qualifiers for Cattle, Sheep, Horses, Poultry, Dogs, Flowers, Vegetables, Baking, Crafts, Produce and a variety of children’s competitions. The year 2000 saw the introduction of new classes such as, Carriage Driving and Tractor Pulling.These events are supported by competitors and sponsors from all over Ireland. In 2016, the Ossory Truck Show was launched and became a huge success, so much so that it will be back in 2017 and beyond.
One of the main attractions is the popular Hunt Chase, with teams competing from all parts of the country. There are trade exhibitors of all descriptions from crafts to horse tack.The show day is an enjoyable day out for all the family with many attractions, and entertainments to capture the heart of everyone’s interest. There are plenty of parking spaces and refreshments, from burgers to crepes to ice cream. So if you want a great day out, just come along and enjoy a great day at the Ossory Agricultural Show in County Laois, Ireland.
President of The Ossory Show Lar Broderick with Tim Ryan at the 1946 Ossory Show
Minister of State at The Department of Agriculture Ned O'Keeffe plants a tree to mark the occasion at the Ossory Show. Included are Lar Broderick, president; Irene Newman, secretary and Martin Phelan, chairman.