Birr’s Irish Game And Country Fair Brings Ireland’s Ancient East To Life

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The Irish Game & Country Fair at Birr on 27th and 28th August 2016 is set to bring even more benefits to Irish tourism this year with a major cash injection from Failte Ireland and a huge upsurge in interest from exhibitors.

The €7,000 funding grant has been made in recognition of the significance of impact of the Birr Fair on tourism.

Making the announcement, Irish Minister Michael Ring said that the funding will allow Birr, Co Offaly, and The Midlands to broaden their appeal to overseas visitors and attract visitors actively seeking to fully experience Ireland in all its aspects, from culture and sport to festivals and fun.

Bringing ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ to life
Bringing ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’ to life

Game Fair Director Albert Titterington, who is a local businessman who lives just outside Downpatrick, said: “I am delighted that the Irish Game & Country Fair at Birr continues to grow from strength to strength, and that its vital contribution had been recognised in this way. I would also like to thank Failte Ireland’s CEO Sean Quinn who said that festivals, national and regional, supported by his organisation will provide the backbone to this year’s tourism event calendar and add to our ability to grow overseas visitors and revenue.”

The impact of August’s Irish Game and Country Fair at Birr and the Midland’s has long been recognised and Peter Ormond, marketing manager of Mid Ireland Tourism, said: “The Irish Game & Country Fairs at Birr Castle have been a tremendous success for our region. I would like to thank the Great Game Fairs of Ireland team for your efforts in bringing new experiences to the event and the feedback again this year was excellent.

“I stated last year that the Game Fair in Birr surpassed all expectations. Thankfully it managed to do that again this year. Mid Ireland Tourism and indeed all our members recognise and appreciate the tremendous input your organisation has contributed to Tourism in the Midlands Region.

“The Irish Game & Country Fair totally booked out all accommodation providers in the Midlands region. This event also had a great impact on the local economy in terms of retail sales and bookings at restaurants. Our office assisted in placing people in appropriate accommodation and we had to place people some distance from the venue to accommodate all visitors. It is with great pleasure that we confirm that most accommodation providers were booked out months in advance”

Albert Titterington further added: “ The Great Game Fairs of Ireland’s impact on Irish tourism and the local economy is significant and continues to grow year on year. This funding and other commercial funding will help us put in place major exciting developments this year in line with Failte’s ‘Ireland Ancient East’ theme — a win/win situation for the thousands who visit the event and a welcome boost for the local economy.”

Albert Titterington confirmed that there has been a huge surge in interest from companies and traders keen to tap into the Birr event and take advantage of the major marketing and sales opportunity

Albert Titterington said: “While other fairs farther afield, especially in the UK, have had variable success, our track record speaks for itself and we are now recognised as the leading event of its type here in Ireland.

Huge crowds enjoying the main arena programme at Birr.
Huge crowds enjoying the main arena programme at Birr.

“With our own investment and sponsorship coupled with government support, our growth means more spectators than ever before are expected this year. This has been reflected in an increasing number of exhibitors keen to snap up the chance of becoming involved at an early stage.”

Turning to the programme planned for August, Albert Titterington said: “I am delighted to announce that for 2016 we have been able to book major exciting international acts, our competitions now have the biggest ever prize fund of around €20,000, and there are even more exhibitors and quality trade stands coming to provide the biggest and best game fair ever seen at Birr.

“On the entertainment side there has been a major boost to our Food Festival as NI Tourism have launched a Year of Food and Drink, and many fine and artisan food stands will be exhibiting at the Food Festival at Birr for the first time. We hope that food companies from the Birr area will join us in putting on the largest Fine Food Festival ever seen here. And we have special rates for local exhibitors!”

Albert Titterington explained: “Traders are attracted by the fact that the event simply delivers. It delivers on organisation, on footfall and diversity and it has been the ‘launchpad’ or ‘catalyst’ for a range of businesses which are now thriving enterprises.

“Now with our further expansion in 2016, cemented by investment by bodies such as Failte Ireland, we are seeing that translated in significant interest from businesses which have not previously considered the Birr Fair as a ‘shop window’ for their products.

“With the added support of Irish Country Sports & Country Life magazine, and our major marketing operation pre and post fair, traders are definitely ‘following the smart money’ by making sure they take part in Ireland’s biggest and best Irish Game & Country Fair at Birr on 27th & 28th August.

“Our Birr Fair specialist team at 028 (048 from ROI) 44839167 /44615416 will be happy to discuss any aspect of the event and answer your questions.”

For further details and media enquiries please visit:

www.irishgameandcountryfair.com

E: irishgamefair@btinternet.com or call 028 (048 from ROI) 44839167 /44615416.