The earliest surviving Minute Book of the County of Cork Agricultural Society dates from a meeting of the show sub committee on Saturday 17 April, 1886. The secretary was Edward Corrigan who wrote with writing that is very legible. The extant minutes shed light into the build-up and annual preparation for the two day summer show held at the Corn Exchange, Cork. In particular, aspects such as the financial search by all sub committees to pay for general expenses and the improvement of prizes prominent as well as the selection of judges. It is interesting to focus on the earliest details as they provide a platform to discuss how the Society ran its affairs and developed through the ages.
The minutes open in April 1886 with the promise of donations by members for the Show to the amount of £129."
The above extract was taken from the book titled 'Munster Agricultural Society, The Story of Cork Show Grounds' written by local Cork Historian and Cork City Independent Councilor Kieran McCarthy.
Also taken from the book is the following extract from the Foreword by the then Chairperson, Gerard Murphy.
"When the Munster Agricultural Society left the old Showgrounds for the last time in 2008, we closed the door on a fascinating piece of history. It was the end of a magical era and the start of a new chapter for the Society.
In future we intend to develop a top class exhibition centre with both indoor and outdoor facilities. It will fir the needs and ambitions of not only the farming community, but the public as a whole, and will support the work of the Cork County and City Councils with whom we have enjoyed a long and productive relationship"
Since publication of the book the Society purchased the new grounds in Curraheen VIllage on the outskirts of Cork City and the first Show was due to be held there in 2012 when the weather forced the first ever cancellation of the event. Successful shows have been ruining at the new Grounds since then until 202 which again saw the show cancelled - this time due to a global pandemic named COVID-19. In its place a 'VIRTUAL' Show is being held with all classes requiring the entrant to submit either photographs or video footage in the bid to compete and win the winner's title.
Kieran McCarthy's book is available to purchase from the Show office for €15.