Country Sports Attractions
The Irish Game & Country fair is the event supported by the major country sports organisations and the fair with the best
country sports competitions, displays and trade stands.
ATTRACTIONS at IRELAND'S NATIONAL GAME & COUNTRY FAIR
The objective of the Great Game Fairs of Ireland is to organise events with real family appeal for all those who live work or play in the
Apart from the fantastic in situ attractions offered by the Birr Demesne(see www.birrcastle.com),
the Fair has a wide range of competitions, displays, demonstrations, trade stands and exhibits to appeal to anyone who lives, works or plays
in the Irish countryside.
Quite uniquely the Fair is supported by all the main Hunting, Shooting, Fishing and Countryside organisations including the NARGC,
FISSTA, CAI, IFA Countryside, HAI and the Deer Societies
Fair Directors Albert Titterington and Philip Lawton with Des Crofton (Director NARGC); Noel Carr (Secretary FISSTA) and Lyall Plant
(CAI) at the press launch at Birr. All three organisations are mounting enhanced exhibition stands at the fair and encouraging their
members to make the event the best fair ever mounted in southern Ireland.
RISE at the Irish Game & Country Fair, Birr Castle, 25th & 26th August 2012
RISE (Rural Ireland Says Enough!), will be very much in evidence at the forthcoming Irish Game & Country Fair in Birr Castle on
25th and 26th August. At 1.15pm on Sunday 26th, a large contingent of RISE supporters will assemble inside the main entrance to
the Castle and will be lead to the main arena where a short address will be made by RISE spokesperson, Philip Donnelly of the
Irish Masters of Beagles Association.
RISE came into existence to mount a spirited defence to moves by former Green Party Minister for the Environment John Gormley's
attacks on hunting, particularly against the Ward Union Hunt Club whose hunting he banned. Fine Gael, in a pre-general election
pact with NARGC, gave a firm commitment to repeal Gormley's legislation in return for electoral support from all hunting associations
but since coming into office the Party has reneged on the deal. In the meantime, other issues which have given rise to further
concerns have arisen, such as the administration of firearms licensing and animal welfare legislation. These are seen as the
hallmark of a general attitude by Government towards rural Ireland, where sceptic tank charges, closure of Garda Stations and
cessation of Hospital services are also giving rise to anti-government sentiment.
RISE is seeking to have the promised repeal of the Ward Union ban honoured, the firearms licensing issues addressed and it is
monitoring the progress of the animal welfare legislation through both Houses of the Oireachtas. RISE is appealing to all Government
TD's to support the reasonable requirements of its large rural support base.
Everyone who supports the ethos of RISE is urged to turn up at Birr Castle on Sunday the 26th and show a level of support which
will leave no doubt that rural Ireland is alive and watching very closely how public representatives are meeting our needs.
RISE is supported by:
National Association of Regional Game Councils - NARGC
Irish Coursing Club - ICC
Irish Masters of Fox Hounds Association - IMFHA
Irish Deer Society - IDS
Ward Union Hunt Club - WUHC
Irish Masters of Mink Hounds Association - IMMA
Irish Foot Harriers Association - IFHA
Countryside Alliance Ireland - CAI
Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers - FISSTA
Irish Masters of Beagles Association - IMBA
Irish Game Protection Association - IGPA
Wild Deer Association of Ireland - WDAI
Irish Masters of Harriers Association - IMHA
The NARGC - Ireland's largest countrysports organisation at the Birr Game & Country Fair
Director Des Crofton looking forward to the Fair said
"NARGC BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE AT BIRR 2012"
The NARGC will again be a major exhibitor at the Birr Country Fair in Birr Castle on the last weekend in August. The Association
has been gradually increasing its presence at Birr over the past few years and 2012 will see its biggest ever display. In fact
the NARGC plans to mount the biggest exhibition ever held at any fair in Ireland this year. Many of the usual displays will feature
in the marquee, but this year there will a significant number of fresh new items.
As in previous years, the NARGC merchandise shop will be making unbelievable bargains available to shooting and hunting folk from
a significantly expanded range of merchandise. Margaret Neile will again be in charge, assisted by Ernie Beck, Shane O'Connor and
John Munnelly and if the Association's online shopping activity is anything to go by, business should be brisk.
Jimmy Tyrrell will be back with his fly-tying exhibition and his mind boggling range of flies for sale. Jimmy is always a welcome
participant in the NARGC marquee where he imparts a lifetime's knowledge of fly fishing to the many visitors, a goodly number of
whom are also game-shooters.
Jim Corcoran, taxidermist par excellence! will once again grace our stand with his magnificent and varied display of the mammals
and birds of the Irish countryside. Apart at all from the visual impact of Jim's work, his individual exhibits are in themselves a
wonderful opportunity for members of the public to get close up to animals and birds, which for the most part they could never hope
to encounter in such close quarters. Jim's work is really educational.
The Boleybrack Red Grouse Project is a new exhibit. The project to restore the local Red Grouse population is conducted on
Boleybrack Mountain in County Leitrim jointly by North Leitrim Regional Game Council, the National Parks & Wildlife Service and
Glenfarne Gun Club. It is a wonderful example of successful partnership between state and the voluntary sector with the Red Grouse,
an iconic Irish game bird as the beneficiary and it demonstrates that properly regulated game hunting which has sustainability at its
heart, is part of the conservation solution rather than the problem as many would have the public believe. The Project's managers,
Eamonn Brennan and game keeper John Carslake from the Grouse moors of Scotland will be on hand to offer advice and relate their
experiences to the many people who will be at Birr and who have an interest in Red Grouse.
John Kavanagh and his team from the Vintage and Classic Rifle Association of Ireland (VCRAI) will again make an appearance in
the NARGC marquee. The old guns are always a favourite with everyone and evoke memories of decades past, the era of Glen Millar music
and before. The nostalgia surrounding these old firearms is of itself a good reason to preserve them.
Another new feature this year is the NARGC photographic studio where professional photographer George Kelly will be on hand for
those who wish to get a good quality A4 size colour portrait photograph of their hunting dog, or themselves with the dog or even a
family portrait at an incredible, not to be beaten, special Birr Show price of €20.
Chris Gavican will be on hand at the NARGC Compensation Fund desk to offer advice and answer questions about the very comprehensive
level of protection afforded to club members by the Fund. Despite the fact that the Compensation Fund is in existence since 1984,
it is constantly evolving to provide ever better protection. Uniquely, it is an indemnity scheme designed for hunting, by hunters
and administered by hunters. Consequently, it has by far the best record of any scheme of protection for hunting on these islands
and no other scheme can boast as much.
We will have a new desk under the title "John's Delight" which will be attended by John Howard from Cork. John will offer advice
to clubs on seed mixtures for game crops and his mixes will be available for sale on the stand.
The Predator Control desk first appeared at the 2011 Fair and will be in the marquee again this year in the capable hands of
NARGC Predator Control Officer, Paddy McCartney. Paddy will offer advice to anyone interested in managing their shooting ground
properly and he will demonstrate the use of the various control aids/traps.
NARGC National Safety Officer Jim O'Connor will again conduct a gun coaching clinic where, with the use of the latest technology,
he and his team will diagnose flaws and prescribe corrective action for game and clay pigeon shooters. The clinic is very popular
with shooters attending the fair each year.
Jimmy Christie and members of Offaly Regional Game Council will mount an outdoor live bird display of a variety of game birds,
including a number of Pheasant variations. This display is particularly popular with children who are enthralled with the birds
and their colourful displays. Many club members also seek out Jimmy and his crew to seek their advices on rearing and incubation.
The game cookery exhibit is one of the most popular exhibits in the entire fair and 2012 will see the return of Game Chef Emmet
McCourt from Derry to the NARGC stand. Over the two days of the fair Emmett will cook up delicious recipes of venison, pheasant,
rabbit and pigeon. When it comes to tasting the samples, there is simply never enough to go around. Once tasted, most people who
have never tried game become instant converts. It is good wholesome food and Emmet is only too happy to pass on some of his
knowledge to members of the public to help them achieve the best results from cooking game. I should at this point thank Flogas
for their assistance with the mobile cooker and oven.
Emmett Mc Court on the busy NARGC stand
Last year saw the introduction of the NARGC shooting simulator and it was in constant demand throughout the two days of
the fair, operating literally non-stop for the entire period. Such was its popularity that many youngsters were unable to
try it out with adults dominating the stand. However, we are pleased to announce that the NARGC marquee will, at the 2012
fair, boast an additional simulator, reserved exclusively for junior shooters - up to 14 years of age. This is simply in
keeping with the NARGC's policy of making the sport available to all ages.
New to the NARGC stand this year will be the NARGC/City & Guilds Game Meat Handling (Trained Hunter) Qualification
information desk which will be manned (or should I say womanned) by NARGC's Paula Malone and East Coast Dog & Gun's
Denise Walsh. Here, game shooters will be able to get all the information required to achieve this qualification.
They will also be able to purchase the course manual and even book a place on a course at a special Game Fair discount price.
A regular exhibit on the NARGC stand is MacEoin General Merchants in the person of Mike Johnson. Mike will have available
all manner of equipment and products for clubs whether their interest is game rearing, incubation, feeders, traps and all
manner of accessories.
Last year NARGC introduced the Best Novice Dog Handler Competition in conjunction with dog trainer, the very entertaining
Keith Matthews. This will again be a feature of the 2012 Fair at Birr with a cup sponsored by NARGC being awarded on each of
the two days for best handler in the adult male, adult female and junior categories.
Nutts About Pets is a dog food company which will make its first appearance at the Birr show on the NARGC stand. Run by
Joe Fagan, who will be on the stand in person to meet dog owners, the Nutts About Pets dog food range will be promoted as a
quality product and visitors to the stand can expect to leave with a small sample bag to try out on their dog.
Paul Walsh from East Coast Dog and Gun will be displaying and selling his range of high quality Joker Knives on the NARGC
stand and also his non-electronic callers for foxes. Incidentally, we want to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his
sponsorship of a Miroku 20 gauge shotgun for the NARGC National Clay Shoot in Limerick in July.
Ger Burns, the NARGC Game Development Officer, will have his Game desk on the stand where he and colleagues Ray Devine and
Tom O'Connor will be on hand to discuss and provide advice to clubs on game, game courses and habitat management and where game
DVD's can be viewed on large screen.
As the single largest group of working dog owners in the country, NARGC club members are always looking out for doggy
accessories and products. Deirdre Woods of Paws & Claws will be on the stand with a range of goodies for the discerning
As with last year, the NARGC will make a special welcome for the kiddies who, after all, will take responsibility for the
defence, promotion and management of fieldsports in Ireland in future years. I am not going to give the game away here but I
can promise that children coming to the NARGC marquee will receive very special treatment.
Lastly, Coillte has very kindly agreed to sponsor the supply of potted trees which will be used to dress the NARGC stand and
give a particular feel to the displays and we wish to acknowledge this very welcome sponsorship.
Finally, I wish to thank the assistance given by Margaret Neile and the NARGC Shows Committee, all our exhibitors - both
NARGC and others, NARGC Chairman Sean Doris and Treasurer Simon Devereux for their support, all the NARGC personnel who will man
the various stands over the two days of the fair, Albert and Irene Titterington for their unstinted support not just for NARGC at
the fair but throughout the year and last but by no means least, my ever suffering secretary, Paula Malone without whose help
many things simply would not happen."
And from the ROI's largest Shooting organisation to its premier Angling one
The Year of the Salmon & Trout and the best Angling Villages ever mounted at any Irish game or country fair
Every year the fair introduces new attractions, competitions and themes and this year is no exception. Themes such as the 'Year
of the Horse' were followed by the 'Year of the Dog' and this year it's the 'Year of the Salmon & Trout.' And this fishy
theme is the focal point for the huge 'Angling Village' at Birr Castle with everything one would expect at a top class angling
show and more! Masses of tackle and plenty of bargains, boats, angling competitions, instruction and demonstrations, vintage
tackle, fisheries, sporting art, taxidermy, and even speciality game and fish cookery with Emmett McCourt in the Flogas kitchen.
Plus of course John R Moore displaying his iconic painting of 'Salmon on the Glendun river' and other paintings."
'Salmon on the Glendun River' by John R Moore
The painting and a series of limited edition prints has been donated to FISSTA to raise money for their young anglers programme.
The Angling Village has the unrivalled support of the most active Irish angling organisations such as FISSTA and APPGAI
Ireland. These and other organisations , government bodies and angling hotels will help the Angling Village at Shanes a place that
no serious angler will want to miss.
As Noel Carr ( FISSTA) says :
ALL ROADS LEAD TO IRELAND'S PREMIER GAME FAIR AT BIRR CASTLE ON SAT 25th AUG.
The Chairman of Ireland's Premier Angling body - FISSTA (Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea Trout Anglers) Mr. Paul Lawton,
is delighted to announce once again their participation in the Irish Game Fair at the very special venue of BIRR CASTLE on August
25th and 26th August 2012. "This annual event is the highlight of our country sports season where we meet our angling fraternity
to discuss and monitor the mid season salmon and seatrout runs and returns from the great salmon and seatrout rivers of Ireland.
It is a very special time for FISSTA to promote the salmon youth angling programmes which are run by over 80 clubs on the island.
The youth flycasting exhibition at the fair will again feature a flavour of our voluntary club work with a demonstration from this
season's finalists under the guidance of Ireland's expert flycasters who will kick off the events in the main arena on Saturday 25th
WHY ANGLERS WILL ATTEND?
Anglers from all the main rivers and clubs of Ireland now gather in Birr to participate at The Irish Game Fair at Birr Castle to
meet and exchange notes on developments in salmon and seatrout angling and conservation. The fair has built up a huge following over
the past few years as a venue where clubs and businesses can promote their brand of sport angling to a fast growing market of
angling entusiasts who are planning and placing bookings for the 2013 season. This is where all issues are raised and addressed by
club members who travel to what is now Ireland's premier country sports event for in the countryside calender for anglers. The Great
Game Fairs of Ireland partnered with the premier magazine Irish Country Sports and Country Life which features our quarterly newsletter
allows us to spread the FISSTA message of angling to a very broad country sports fraternity who support us in our everyday work. We
are most grateful to Albert Titterington his excellent team at the fair and magazine for providing such professional fora and for
their fullsome support and cooperation in helping FISSTA to bring salmon and seatrout angling to a wider public. Ends.
FISSTA Stand at Birr Fair - Newcomers Fishing Advice
The FISSTA stand is hosting a one-stop advice centre where newcomers can get the following information and guidance;
- WHERE TO FISH - where the nearest fishing is available - directions on how to access angling in your area eg; salmon and
- HOW TO START - and what tackle shop near you can supply you with the equipment needed to get started.
- JOIN FISSTA CLUB LOCALLLY - who can advise further - both at the show and in your local area.
- WHO WILL HELP - where to get tuition - both at the show and in your local area
- WHAT YOU NEED - what equipment you will need and whose stands to visit at the show
- READ MORE ON ANGLING - what to read up on where to get the books
- LEARN TO FLYCAST ON HOLIDAY - where to fish and stay on an Irish angling holiday river
- CATCH UP ON ALL FISSTA CAMPAIGNS TO CONSERVE AND PROTECT OUR WILD ATLANTIC SALMON
National Salmon and Seatrout Month - September 2012
The Birr Game Fair is one of the principal focal points for this year's National Salmon and Seatrout Month which runs for the entire
month of September. The aim of this initiative is to raise the awareness of the life cycle of the salmon and seatrout at a time
when they are leaping the waterfalls and weirs as they make their return to the spawing beds. FISSTA hope to create as many
opportunities as possible to reach new audiences across the country and introduce the joy and thrill of the wild Atlantic salmon
habitat to them. It will do this at Birr Game Fair by hosting the youth flycasting demonstration under Robert Gillespie's expert
guidance and by hosting some expert 'observations; and 'teach-ins' at a FISSTA club river near you during this coming month of
Further information: Secretary: NOEL CARR, Teelin Road, Carrick, Co. Donegal. Tel/Fax 074 9730300.
And Noel is supported by Damian McElholm from APGAI Ireland :
The Association of Professional Game Angling Instructors -Ireland (APGAII)
APGAII will be attending the Birr Game Fair with a programme of continuous workshops for casting and equipment plus fly dressing
covering the hot topics of today's game angling scene. We will have a full complement of experienced coaches to create a number
of interactive learning and discussion groups for the serious angler as well as a number of attractions for the young anglers with
games and fly dressing competitions plus casting classes for young casters. We will be running a casting competition based around
skill as opposed to distance with two levels "professional" and "amateur" with prizes of kit and equipment.
Joe Stitt and Arthur Greenwood of APGAI with some good reading material
From October we are pleased to announce that APGAII and their partner Game Guides Ireland will be offering a set of
accredited introduction to game angling coaching will awards at level 1 and level 2 from the Open College Network. This would be
of interest to anglers thinking about a career path in coaching and of particular interest to the many dedicated club members who
train and guide their junior members. These courses have been accredited and written so are available to students as of now !!
Some of of our newly qualified OCN level 3 instructors received their certificates at the Irish game Fair at Shanes Castle..
These new level 3 instructors are the very first ever to receive this award which is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom
and Ireland as the award is a level 3 diploma which is equivalent to A Levels in Northern Ireland and the Leaving Certificate in
the Republic of Ireland. Do please visit our website for more detail. www.apgai-ireland.ie
Countryside Alliance Ireland at the Fair
Countryside Alliance Ireland's involvement at Birr will once again be significant this year, giving CAI the ideal opportunity
to showcase their work while engaging with all those in attendance at this prestigious country sports event.
CAI are delighted to host a number of exciting exhibitors on their stand, including Calor Ireland, who working together with
CAI are the perfect fit for fuelling rural Ireland! Other exhibitors include the Wild Deer Association of Ireland, The Irish
Deer Society, renowned stick maker Lindsay Carlisle, taxidermist, Kurt Ecker, BADA UK and Trumera/Roskelton Gun Club & Game
CAI Chief Executive, Lyall Plant comments "Our vision is of a vital, working and thriving countryside for the benefit of the
whole nation We work for everyone who loves the countryside and the rural way of life. Through campaigning, lobbying, publicity
and education we influence legislation and public policy that impacts on the countryside, rural people and their activities.
The Irish Game Fair at Birr Castle is the perfect forum for CAI to meet and engage with our members and supporters".
Working in harmony for country sports CAI Chief Executive Lyall Plant and Des Crofton NARGC with Miss Country Lifestyle at the
launch of the Great Game Fairs of Ireland
The CAI stand will be located alongside the show's main arena which is the centrepiece of this two day event set in the
magnificent environs of Birr Castle. We would love to see you, so please do come along and show your support for country sports
and our rural heritage.
The action packed arena programme of the Irish Game & Country Fair features one of the widest range of entertainment to be seen at
any event in Ireland. Since 2007 the performance of the phenomenally well trained horses from the Cochise Stud has been one of the
demonstrations of that thrilled the crowd.
This stud is run by Derek O'Byrne White the well known horse trainer, who has both entertained and awed crowds throughout Ireland with
the results of his exceptional training skills and horsemanship. Derek will be at Birr again this year with those well trained horses
including a mare which is just back in Ireland after being crowned Champion of Champions at the recent European Championships. The
display of the agility of the Paso Fino horse is demonstrated beautifully by the unique 4 beat gait of this exceptional mount and
anyone with an interest in horses cannot fail to be impressed. www.cochisestud.com.
From one legendary animal trainer to another - Keith (The Dog Guru) Mathews and a World Record attempt
One of the stars of the dazzling main arena programme at Birr Castle will be the BBC's Dog Guru Keith Mathews - now a star on the
international stage with his uncanny 'canine' ability.
Keith's exclusive appearance is a real coup for the Great Game Fairs of Ireland. Already the leading figure in canine care and
the most widely recognised trainer in Ireland, Keith is now wowing audiences across Europe as well. And not just in dog training,
but in almost every aspect of canine expertise, dog psychology and obedience training, behaviour modification, grooming, showing,
nutrition and breeding to name but a few.
Keith will be giving main arena displays on both days of the Fairs as well as conducting one to one clinics with pet owners
on the Irish Countrysports and Country Life magazine stand. His new training video - a must for all dog owners will be available
to purchase along with his other latest releases
His presence at the Fairs will further enhance the reputation of both events as among the largest and certainly the most varied
'doggy' events in Ireland.
Added to his unique ability in dog training is the indisputable fact that Keith is a born entertainer, who will have the main
arena crowds enthralled with his masterful displays. I have no doubt that our Birr audience will learn a lot from Keith while at
the same time enjoying a display choc a bloc with sheer entertainment.
Keith's success is characterised by his no nonsense hands-on approach. He is often consulted when all other avenues have been
explored and failed. He has that rare quality, instant rapport and an apparent mystical bond with dogs and Keith will be on hand
to chat to dog owners eager to learn from this renowned expert. AND the NARGC has got involved in Keith's training classes at
the Fair by putting up a prize each day for the top lady, gentleman and young handler.
With the International gundog retriever team and individual events; the All Ireland Game Fair Novice Gundog Handling Championships;
puppy, novice and open spaniel tests, novice retriever and minor breeds tests; the Terrier & Lurcher Championships - show and
racing; and horse and hound displays; plus a wide range of trade stands featuring everything the dog owner could possibly want and now
Keith, these really are events not to be missed by anyone with any sort of interest in dogs.
Keith Mathews Master Class at the Ballywalter Fair
Ferrets with Ireland's "Mr Ferret" Tony Carinduff
The one man who has done more to bring the sport of ferreting to public notice and popularity is Tony Carinduff - this year celebrating
33 years of attending and displaying Ferrets at virtually all of Ireland's game or country fairs.
Tony Carinduff explains the finer points of ferreting to Brian Cowen and Lord & Lady Rosse at Birr in 2007.
With his wife Margaret, Tony has taken his ferrets the length and breadth of Ireland and introduced literally thousands of young people
to his ferrets and hundreds to the sport.
As well as dispensing knowledgeable and sound advise on ferreting built up over a lifetime in the sport, Tony is also famed for the
lavish hospitality dispensed on his stand.
Falconry at Birr
Faconry is one of the oldest of the countrysports with its beginnings stretching back to 2200 BC in the Far East, though it's true
origins are unclear. It was brought to Europe by Germanic tribes who introduced it to Roman culture.
It thrived during the Middle Ages as both a method of hunting food (small game etc.) and as a sport in its own right among the nobles
of the time. Falconry also flourished in the Middle East and Asia where the crusaders learned much from their Arab counterparts.
However in Europe in the late 18th century, with the advent of guns and their use in hunting, the sport dwindled and was limited to a
few who continued the practice. The skill of the falconer and the amazing aerobatical prowess of the birds continues to inspire awe
amongst Game Fair crowds.
This year we are fortunate to have Trevor Roche from Dublin Falconry with his team of three assistant falconers to put on impressive
free flying demonstrations and a large static exhibition. Trevor has been involved in Falconry since he was eight years old. And as he
says himself, his passion for flying, hunting and displaying Birds of Prey is everlasting. His huge experience and expertise is second
to none having flown many species of Hawk and Falcons including; Kestrels, Sparrow Hawks, Red Tails, Harris Hawks, Peregrine/Saker
Falcon Hybrid, Peregrine/Prairie Hybrid, Peregrine Falcon and Tiercel, Eagle and Snowy Owls.
At present Trevor is flying a young female, parent reared, Finnish Goshawk, a beautiful creature, and flying at 2lb-6oz, she's the real
deal. Well mannered and impeccably behaved, she commands the highest respect. Another beauty is his Peregrine/Prairie Hybrid Tiercel. He
is a small Falcon, but packs a big punch. He flies at 1lb-2.5oz. and is a little game Falcon.
Trevor Roche From Dublin Falconry
The Irish Hawking Club
Although Game Fairs and especially those organised by the Great Game Fairs of Ireland have led the way in bringing the noble art of
falconry to thousands of people it is likely that falconry has been practised in Ireland before the twelfth century and written
references abound from the twelfth century on.
Ireland supplied the nobility of Western Europe with peregrines and goshawks until early modern times and the aristocracy of several
nations brought their hawks here to hunt.
An Irish Hawking Club was formed in 1870 at a meeting in Great Brunswick Street chaired by Lord Talbot de Malahide and the Maharajah
Prince Duleep Singh, a familiar figure in falconry circles across two continents, pledged 50 pounds to its founding.
We are delighted to welcome a static display by the Irish Hawking Club to Birr enabling the public at Birr to enjoy one of the largest
display of Birds of Prey at any event in Ireland this year.
Huge Tented Village of Trade Stands
Wide range of trade stands for the whole family to enjoy including a Gunmakers Row; a Fisherman's Row and a Gundog Row - all bursting
with products necessary for your sport.
Food Hall and Mouthwatering Game Pies
Plus country clothing and fashion to suit all tastes and pockets; a Craft Tent; Art Gallery; a Fine Food and Drinks Pavilion;
Sporting Holidays; Renewable Energy; home & Garden equipment - in fact something to interest anyone who lives, works or
plays in the Irish Countryside.
The tented village will have a number of works of art on display including major exhibit from John R Moore, who has produced
the two iconic paintings associated with the 2012 Great Game Fairs of Ireland - The 'Salmon on the Glendun River' to illustrate the
overall angling theme of the fairs and 'The Massereene Hound' - a fantastic painting bringing the 300 legend of the Massereene
Irish Wolfhound to life.
Fair Director Albert Titterington with artist John Moore and the painting of the Massereene Hound
The Victorian Poacher remains at large
Constable Lawton of our local police constabulary has informed us once that the notorious Victorian Poacher, reputedly identified
as Stephen Mc Gonigal, remains at large, despite being seen exclusively at the Great Game Fairs of Ireland.
There were several unsuccessful attempts to apprehend him at both the Ballywalter & Shanes Castle Game Fairs, where not only
was he seen by thousands of people, but he had the sheer cheek to actually show how he went about his disreputable business.
He was last spotted sporting a long black coat, knee high black boats and a flat cap and had with him a suspicious looking small, blue
grey coloured whippet type dog.
Incidents seem to take place at these Game Fairs where rabbits were captured by an old method known as long netting, in front of record
audiences - how audacious is the man!
All this is full public view - but apparently the law is powerless to apprehend the so-called Victorian Poacher. The small whippet type
dog was involved in the incident and was spotted alongside the Victorian Poacher carrying a rabbit while being pursued by a certain
Constable Lawton at high speed from the main arena.
Our sources inform us that the Victorian Poacher is now making his way to Birr Castle Co Offaly, in time for another spectacular two
day Game Fair from the Great Game Fairs of Ireland. He will no doubt make some attempt at poaching game in front of more record crowds
using his old methods and more modern methods alongside his tiny whippet.
The watching crowd will no doubt be held spellbound by the animal's high speed rabbit catching display.
But that's not all. Rumours are rife that he is bringing along his very own stand to the Birr, no doubt to tempt the unwary public with
'longnetting advice' and much more besides. The Poacher has whispered to his cronies that totally exclusive to the Great Game Fairs of
Ireland and a first in Ireland he is actually showing 'The Ways of the Rabbit Catcher' comprising every aspect of rabbit catching throughout
history and into modern times. The bounder will demonstrate a day's ferreting, showing just how dogs, ferrets & nets all come together
to create a unique team of rabbit catchers. Net making, snare making and trapping will also be on show as well as old poachers' methods
and a whole lot more.
Needless to say we disapprove of the whole thing and the public are urged to keep on the lookout for the Victorian Poacher and his whippet.
He may be armed with a long net, pegs and a few snares, so it is advised not to approach him while he is going about his business - but
are encouraged to chat to him during the course of the show. Apart from hearing all about his methods, it might just allow the authorities
to make an arrest.
You have been warned - the signs are he will be the Irish Game and Country Fair on 25th & 26th August 2012 at Birr Castle, Co
The Constable plans to be in attendance to make an arrest but somehow we feel the cunning Victorian Poacher might just get away with his
black art one more time - or will he?
The All Ireland Stick Makers Championships
organised by the Celtic Stickmakers Club
The championship will take place at the Irish Game and Country Fair ,Birr Castle, Co Offaly on Sunday 26th August 2012
Judges : Andrew Jones, Wales
Champion will win an engraved tankard to keep and €200 plus The John Mc Clelland Memorial Perpetual Annual Trophy. Second
place will win €100 sponsored by Bird Watch Ireland Rosettes in each class jointly sponsored by Bird Watch Ireland and
the Celtic Stickmakers Club.
- Mountain Staff or Hill Walker : wood all horn including ram, buffalo, cow and antler
- Horn Thumbstick Plain
- Wood Thumbstick Plain
- Leg Cleek: horn, wood - one or two pieces
- Horn Market Stick : ram
- Wood Market Stick : one or two pieces
- Blackthorn Walker : horn or wood plain
- Wood Walker ; any head wood or horn
- Fancy Stick : any carved wood, horn, buffalo, ram or antler
- Novice Horn: any horn handles stick plain or fancy
- Novice : wood any wood handled stick plain or fancy
- Cardigan Stick: wood one piece or two pieces
- Cardigan Stick : horn
- Horn Market Stick :buffalo
For further details contact : Tom Kavanagh 057-8629068 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Gunmakers & Clothing Stands at Birr
The fair has always offered patrons a fantastic range of hunting, shooting and fishing accessories including an extensive range
of country clothing stands from people like Charlie Keenan, Duck Dri , Edinburgh Clothing etc all with several bargain prices.
This year they are joined by some new names including Smyths Country Sports - Ireland's largest retailer of Barbour products.
The fair at Birr has also had one of the finest selection of guns on display :
Gundealers this year include Connolly's - also with their magnificent range of dog food on display; Casalle 2000 Ltd with a
great range of Cesare Guerini and other shotguns ( and with a fantastic fair offer of 15% discount for guns purchased at the fair) -
Casale are the sponsors of the individual prize of a Cesare Guerini shotgun for the NARGC Club competition. ; Abbey Marine; and
Lakeland Shooting Centre.
Lakeland Shooting Centre
Apart from a wide range of merchandise including quality brands such as Mauser, Blaser and Zeiss Niall and Tom Kirwan have
a couple of rather novel attractions including a gunsmithing service and a very special 'one off' rifle.
Gracing the stand will be german gunsmith Bernd Fleischmann a graduate of the gun smithing school and now a master gunsmith
from Blaser. He will offer a service facility for all Blaser rifles and shotguns at a very reasonable price and he is available
to give technical advice and information on the complete Blaser and Mauser ranges.
Lakeland Shooting Centre are the sponsors of a Fausti Elegance shotgun for the winner of the Birr Game Fair 50 Bird Sporting
Clay Pigeon Championships.
Lakeland Shooting Centre to have one of the rarest guns in the world on their stand at Birr - The Mauser Anniversary
140 years of rifle manufacturing in perfection
To celebrate the 140th anniversary of Mauser rifles, the legendary rifle manufacturer presents a special edition of the M 03
bolt action rifle at the international trade show IWA 2012 in Nuremberg. The design of this exquisite anniversary rifle pays
homage to Mauser's history of excellent rifle engineering to the highest standards.
Founded in 1872 by the two brothers Paul and Wilhelm Mauser, the Mauser rifle factory soon became world famous. From the very
beginning their international reputation rested on a strong foundation of innovation and extraordinary engineering skills.
The portraits of both founding fathers are lavishly engraved in photorealistic quality on the magazine cover right next to the
Mauser anniversary emblem.
The letterings "140 Jahre Mauser" and "Jubiläumsmodell", both framed by a discret banderole, are engraved in the bolt
planes whilst the trigger guard bears the serial number of the rifle. A particularly spectacular engraving is displayed on the
bolt handle ball: surrounding the original Mauser logo, 140 miniature Mauser barrels form a fine, slip-proof checkering.
The M 03 Anniversary Edition features a blued action and a Mag-Safe magazine safety. It is equipped with a beautiful grade
4 stock wood. Action, magazine, trigger and trigger guard were honed to a light gloss finish. Upgrades such as higher wood
grades, special stock shapes as well as custom stock lengths and contours are available in line with the current Mauser
pricelist. All calibers in the M 03 portfolio are available.
For collectors and connoisseurs of Mauser rifles, the Anniversary Edition comes as a unique opportunity to purchase an
extraordinary Mauser rarity. Mauser customers have the opportunity to express a preference of which serial number between 1 and
140 they would like to have engraved on their rifle. However as there is only one rifle per number, it is recommended to order
the personal preference as soon as possible.
Not showing guns this year but a new shooting exhibitor - Global Rifle
"Global Rifle are the manufacturers of the well know Snipersystems brand.
At Birr Castle we will be selling our bipods and shooting torches and other lamping equipment at special Show Prices..
Snipersystems bipods are a modern, UK made, variation on the 20 year old Harris design, and incorporate a "Podlock".
This is a nice touch and allows the tilting facility of the Snipersystems bipod to be locked off. The ratchet lock on the
tilt mechanism works very well and allows you to move the lever to the side out of the way after tightening. The notched
adjustment for leg height is positive, quiet in use and is easy to adjust even in the prone position. Spring tension on
the legs is well judged, holding the legs firmly in the deployed or folded position without requiring excessive force to
adjust. End result is a solid dependable shooting rest that betters even the Harris bipod! Available in a choice of three
Snipersystems Gun Light kit has been designed to shine in a tight beam to pick up eyes at up to 600 metres, and enable
positive identification at up to 400 metres. It has a powerful 600 lumen led with re-chargeable lithium-ion battery and comes
complete with battery charger, three coloured filters and the easily fitted Snipersystems gun mount. It will fit a variety
of scope sizes and can even be fitted onto a shotgun barrel up to a .410 Hushpower size. We also sell a cheaper gunlight,
the Globalrifle, which is 500 lumens and shines up to 500 metres.
We will be selling a range of other torches and lamps for "dogging" , lamping and general use."
GLOBAL RIFLE www.snipersystems.co.uk
These are just some of the exhibits and exhibitors that make the Irish Game & Country Fair - the
'Countrysports Enthusiasts' fair.