NORTHERN IRELAND'S local agricultural show circuit has 12 confirmed cancellations due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

The Northern Ireland Shows Associations (NISA) confirmed that the following shows have all been cancelled – Killyleagh, Ballymoney, Lurgan, Armagh, Newry, Ballymena, Omagh, Castlewellan, Londonderry/Limavady¸ Antrim, Clogher Valley and Fermanagh.

The Balmoral Show has been postponed to Wednesday 19 – Saturday August 22, 2020, while the Saintfield Show has indicated that they hope to run in September with a revised schedule.

Chairman of NISA, Ann Orr, commented: “The health and safety of all those who come together to put on the individual local shows are our priority. It is a difficult situation we all find ourselves in this year and each of the individual show committees have had to look seriously at their position taking into account the months of preparation beforehand, the expense of pre-planning which may not be used - and against that, the loss to the Agri-Food Industry of the valuable contribution the shows – which cover the six counties of Northern Ireland – make to the economy.

"A major feature of the agricultural shows are the five NISA Championships run each year to culminate in the series championships at the end of the season. Thankfully, our sponsors have all been supportive of the committee's decisions, and we will be back in 2021 stronger than ever.

She continued: “I know I speak on behalf of all the shows in thanking the organisers, volunteers, exhibitors, suppliers, sponsors, partners, and loyal visitors for their understanding and support during these unprecedented times. The loss of the local shows over the summer months will be a great disappointment to not only the show organisers but to all those involved.”