Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
Wednesday, Oct 31, 1849
BALLINA FARMING SOCIETY'S SHOW AND DINNER
This society held its first show of stock, green crops, &c., in this town
on Monday last, and the display exceeded the most sanguine expectations of its
originators. At five o'clock the members of the society and their friends,
numbering about eighty, sat down to an excellent dinner provided by Mr. Henry
Lochran, in one of the large rooms of Mr. Gallagher's new houses, kindly lent
for the occasion. It was extremely gratifying to see so many of the landlords
together and to mark the interest each felt in the proceedings. Colonel Gore
occupied the chair, and after the cloth was removed, introduced the several
toasts with appropriate remarks, dwelling on the advantages of such societies
and the great good likely to result from the bringing together so many of the
landed proprietors and tenant farmers. During the course of the evening several
very excellent speeches were made in responding to the toasts. Those of Richard
Burke, Esq., Assistant Poor Law Commissioner who was the chief originator of the
society, Mr. Fetherstone, from the Royal Agricultural Society, Mr. Halliday and
Mr. Robert Scott were particularly interesting. Mr. Fetherstone said he seldom
saw a better breed of cattle than were exhibited that day, but they were sadly
deficient in feeding, and in any of the infant societies he lately visited he
did not feel so great an interest as in the Ballina Farming Society. Mr.
Halliday read the list of successful competitors in stock, which are as
Mr. Fetherstone, Mr. Halliday, Mr. Waters, and Mr. O'Connor.
Best Bull within the district, Fitzherbert Pratt, Esq.
Prize, Royal Agricultural Society's Medal.
Best Short-horned Cow in calf or giving milk, Mr. Pratt, Medal.
Best two-year old Heifer, Francis Knox Orme, Esq., Medal.
Best yearling Heifer (best in the yard), F.K. Orme, Esq., Hon. Certificate.
Best Calf dropped in 1849, Mr. Pratt, Hon. Certificate.
Best Boar, Mr. Hugh Dunlop, Medal.
Best pen of three Ewes, Edward Howley, Esq., Medal.
Best Agricultural Stallion, William Mallery, Esq., Large Medal.
For the best Milch Cow in calf, or giving milk, Mr. Robert Scott, (very
fine of her class), £1
For the best two year old Heifer, Mr. Robert Scott, 15s.
For the best yearling Heifer, Mr. Thornton Scott, 15s.
For the best Calf of 1849, Mr. Thomas Scott, 10s.
For the best Brood Sow, Mr. Robert Scott, £1.
For the best pen of Sheep (three ewes), no merit.
For the best yearling Heifer, Matthew Melvyn, 15s.
For the best fat Pig, recommended, 10s.
Best Breed Sow, Charles Timlin, £1.
Best Firkin of Butter, Mr. Bourke.
Mr. John Hughes, Practical Instructor for this district, and judge in
connection with Mr. Ward, agriculturist to J.W. Thompson, Esq., being called
upon for his report of the successful candidates in the green crop department
Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen-Having finished our tour of inspection we have
to furnish you with a few succinct remarks embodying our opinions of the objects
of our examination, and containing our decisions as to the successful
candidates. Though it is not necessary to state, we may be permitted to say that
we have observed closely, considered maturely, and concluded cautiously. The
competitors in the First Class for the best cultivated five acres of root crop
are the Hon. Col Wingfield; Richard Burke, Wm. Orme, Mervyn Pratt, Arthur
Perkins, Edward Howley, Edward Atkinson, W.H. Halliday, Robert Verschoyle and
John Symes, Esq. Each of these gentlemen have a very good-some of them very
excellent-turnips; but without waiting to particulars we may inform you at once
that for cultivation, regularity, size and value of crop. W. Orme, Esq. is
entitled to the medal of the Royal Agricultural Society. To assign the relative
positions of the unsuccessful candidates in the order of merit is almost
difficult. Edward Howley, Esq. has almost two acres of Mangold Wurzel unequalled
among the candidates, and if his turnips were somewhat better we would be
necessitated to award him the Medal. Considering the turnips of the remaining
competitors in this class, exclusive of any other root crop, we believe that the
following is the way in which they will stand in the scale of relationship: Mr.
Verschoyle, Mr. Atkinson, Mr. Pratt, Mr. Symes, Mr. Burke, Col. Wingfield, Mr.
Halliday, Mr. Perkins. For the extent of crops, Mr. Halliday claims first place,
having about 60 acres of turnips; but for management, if it were possible to
make a distinction, we are inclined to think that it is to Mr. Symes the credit
is due, or rather to his intelligent steward, _____ Ryan. Indeed to notice
everything that attracted our attention, and which elicited our approbation at
the time of observation would take more time than we have got to spare, owing to
the later hour at which we finished our examination. Much praise is due to all
for their exertions, their example, and their eagerness to improve the system of
cultivation pursued by the tenantry surrounding them. However, it is unnecessary
for us to say how high a place they hold in our estimation we will proceed to
deliver our decisions upon the competitors as they present themselves to us. As
to the drainage, we can only say that for neatness of execution Mr. Tottenham,
or rather Mr. Delahunty, the person who conducted his drainage operations,
deserves the first notice, but the extent being a great object of consideration
we cannot pronounce our opinion until we receive a statement from each gentleman
of the quantity he has drained, certified by Mr. Halliday, the inspector, if you
think it necessary.
We have now to consider the Second Class, in which there are but two
candidates- Mr. Robert Scott, who has entered for the best cultivated farm, neat
cottage, and best cultivated crop of turnips, not less than two estate acres;
and Mr. Thomas Scott, who has entered for a neat cottage only. Now no prize
being offered for a neat cottage in the second class, there is consequently no
competition, and as we have just reason to applaud Mr. Robert Scott's systematic
farming, his very neat cottage, with beautiful flower knots before the door ,and
well-managed orchard, together with neatly trimmed hedges, we adjudge him the
Royal Agricultural Society's Medal. Of Mr. Thomas Scott we could not speak in
too high terms, for his large and well-formed manure heap, and his excellent
crop of white Belgian carrots, as well as the general management of his farm,
but as the entry which he has made does not call for our decision we must take
leave for the purpose of deciding on the Third and Fourth Class. In it the
competitors for he best cultivated statute acre of turnips are Patt Dooher,
Thomas Knight, Richard Fox, Pat Gallagher, and James Watt. To Thomas Knight we
award the first prize of £1 and to James Watt the second of 10s. For a rood of
root crop, exclusive of turnips, Richard Cox is the only competitor; and to
whatever cause it may be attributable, it is so poor a one that we cannot think
of adjudging it any reward. For a neat cottage there are but two entries-Richard
Cox and Mathew Keane. To the latter we adjudge the prize, which is £1 for the
neatness of his home, and the tasty manner in which it is ornamented in front by
shrubs and flowers. For the best cultivated farm there is no entry, but we
strongly recommend Thomas Knight for the prize in consequence of the freedom of
his land from weeds, and its general neatness. Pat Dooher is the only person who
has entered for a manure heap. It is a pretty large one, but the proportion of
bog mould is far too great, however, for the purpose of encouraging future
competition in that line, we think it would be well to give him the second
prize, which is 10s. For land drained and sub-soiled, Richard Cox is the only
person who has entered and he is decidedly worthy of consideration for the great
improvement which he has effected in that respect upon his farm. You will
exercise your own discretion in giving or withholding any encouragement, as we
do not wish to say he is deserving of so large a prize as you have offered for
drainage without having had any competitor. Having now decided upon all cases we
were called to pass judgment upon, it is unnecessary to offer any further remark
than that we have acted strictly impartial.
Mr. Hughes's report was received as very interesting, and all the
successful competitors severally responded to their Health. The utmost harmony
prevailed throughout the evening; and from the interest that has been excited
there is every reason for calculating upon the success of the Ballina Farming
Cathy Joynt Labath
Ireland Old News