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Peeling an orange in your pocket

by Jimmy Rhatigan
Pics by Donal Foley

IT MAY not be the biggest agricultural show in the world but there are thousands of farming sons and daughters, agricoli and agricole who will say that it is the best.

That belief will be corroborated by thousands more city slickers as generations of urban families too have enjoyed Piltown’s Iverk Show for 196 years.

Whether you enjoy the antics of cows and hens and ducks or sinking your false teeth into a prize-winning cherry cake, there is something for everyone at Iverk.

The show was founded in 1826 to provide a sales pitch for local fruit and vegetable growers, artisans, craftsmen and farm families to show off and sell their eggs and butter.

 It continues to be a sensational annual spectacular for the community to show off its design skills, horsemanship and cowmanship and the ability to peel an orange in pocket unbeknown to teacher. 


After two years in sick bay due to Covid, what is arguably the greatest show on earth returned in a blaze of glory.

It was a case of the green, green grass of its Piltown home being transformed into a hodgepodge of sheer class, a contradiction maybe but it is one way of explaining that everything from a needle to an anchor was on display on trade stands.

As usual, the show committee, South Kilkenny mothers and fathers and their offspring, along with teams of volunteers ensured that everything was shipshape.

A young boy licked his lips after demolishing an ice cream. A little girl chatted gleefully to her pet dog and a caring mother cradled her infant.

Icing on the cake was that the sun shared its wonderful warmth with an estimated attendance of 25,000.

Where else would you get such a smashing package?

Nowhere else is the brief answer.

Roll on 2023.

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