The Midland & Western Livestock Improvement Society was established in 1926 by local farmers with the foundation stones laid by the Agricultural Inspectors in the Region. The Inspectors felt that encouraging farmers to breed Pedigree Cattle would not only provide them with an income, but would more importantly improve the quality of our livestock.
The first sale of Pedigree Bulls was held at the rear of St. Patrick’s Hospital in Carrick on Shannon in 1926 and to this day, even though the Society draws its members from all over the North West, the event is more commonly known as the Carrick Sales.
Sales were also held in the Shambles Yard, now called Market Yard, before the Society took up permanent residence at the Showgrounds on the Boyle Road in 1937, where the top price of £11 was recorded for an Angus Bull.
The Department of Agriculture supported the Society in their aim to improve the standard and quality of livestock in the region by purchasing special term Bulls which were leased out to farmers at a reduced rate and that animal became the farmers property in two years.
The convenience of the local railway station to the Society’s new grounds was at that time a key factor in Carrick on Shannon becoming the main venue for the sale and purchase of Pedigree Bulls.
When Committees of Agriculture existed there was always Representatives from the Cavan, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo and Longford Committees on the Executive who allocated Premium Bulls to nearly every area or parish at a subsidised rate. The establishment of various Breed Societies and A.I. Stations brought the Carrick on Shannon Sales into further prominence with the farming population as these groups promoted their Breed and activities through their strong presence in Carrick on Shannon.
Sales were held only once a year in the early years and gradually developed to the stage the Society are at today with sales in October, February, March, April, May and June on two consecutive Saturdays. In 2005 the Society hosted their first Christmas Fatstock Show and Sale and this Event has gone from strength to strength since then.
No matter where one moves in farming circles today the Carrick on Shannon Bull Sales are spoken of as a venue renowned for its Shows and Sales of Pedigree Animals of all Breeds.
Given it’s location so close to Northern Ireland, Carrick on Shannon attracts Northern Ireland buyers to all events held there and each year the Spring Sales attract a number of English and International buyers given Exhibitors a broader customer base.
In 1996 the Society commenced a building project that saw the construction of an Exhibition Shed that can now stall over 240 animals and a spacious canteen. This work was welcomed by all the regular visitors to Carrick on Shannon and also attracted many new exhibitors particularly from the Munster and Leinster Regions.
The Irish Angus Cattle Society Ltd use the premises for their Annual Elite Show & Sale of Irish Angus Bulls & Heifers each December.
In 1999, the Society purchased the Showgrounds and are currently developing the facilities by the building of a new Judging Arena and other facilities so as to create a safer and more modern facility for our exhibitors and purchasers, but more importantly to improve the health status of all animals being exhibited and sold in Carrick on Shannon. Carrick on Shannon Shows and Sales are important in the social calendar of Pedigree Breeders and their families from the 32 Counties and the Executive Committee feel that the present building project will greatly assist to maintain the significance of Carrick on Shannon for all.
Given its geographical location the Society feel that its new facilities and services will also open the way for many more agriculturally based events to be hosted in the North West, especially Elite Sales of Commercial Cattle, Dispersal Sales and Agricultural Machinery Trade Fairs. The potential for further development is enormous, but the present capital investment to update the existing facility is a very positive step in the right direction for Carrick on Shannon.
Brief Synopsis of Midland & Western Livestock Improvement Society’s Activities.
The Midland & Western Livestock Improvement Society Ltd. are responsible for Carrick on Shannon having a reputation countrywide and internationally for one of the main centres for purchasing and selling Pedigree Registered Bulls and Heifers of all Breeds, with the Society’s Venue on the Boyle Road on the outskirts of Carrick on Shannon hosting Shows and Sales many times during the year.
The Society was established in 1926 by farmers from Counties Leitrim, Roscommon and Sligo and the Committee worked closely with the Department of Agriculture from the start to encourage and promote breeding of quality pedigree bulls.
Over the years the Society has gone from strength to strength hosting their own Shows and Sales for all Breeds of Pedigree Bulls and Heifers in February, March, April, May, June and October and their Annual Winter Fair and Fatstock Show and Sale at the end of November is one of the main features of the agri-business calendar I in the North West.
All of these events attract exhibitors from all over Ireland and the Buyers come from nearly all of the 32 Counties – indeed a recent Sale recorded Buyers from 28 of the 32 Counties.
The various Breed Societies in Ireland also recognise Carrick on Shannon as the premier venue for quality pedigree sales and the Irish Angus Cattle Society Ltd host their Elite Show & Sale of Pedigree Angus Bulls and Heifers in Carrick on Shannon in December
Carrick on Shannon’s convenience to Northern Ireland gives all Pedigree Breeders a broader customer base which is reflected in the numbers of animals exported after each Sale.
The foundation stones laid by the original committee in 1926 have certainly being built upon by subsequent voluntary committees over the years and the present committee continue to maintain the longstanding tradition of Carrick on Shannon and strive to improve their facilities where possible to meet the changing needs of our farming community.