‘Golden’ Game Fair - at Shanes Castle, Antrim

Chef Emmett McCourt, Emma Cowan, oganiser of the Flavour Fine food Festival at the Fair and Game Fair Director, Albert Titterington launch the Fair's 2012 theme of 'the year of the Salmon and Trout'

Chef Emmett McCourt, Emma Cowan, oganiser of the Flavour Fine food Festival at the Fair and Game Fair Director, Albert Titterington launch the Fair's 2012 theme of 'the year of the Salmon and Trout'

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THE Great Game Fairs of Ireland will be staging its 50th Irish Game Fair - their ‘Golden’ Game Fair - at Shanes Castle near Antrim.

Albert Titterington and a group of enthusiasts staged the first Game Fair in Ireland 34 years ago and now Shanes Castle’s Irish Game Fair and Country Lifestyle Festival on July 7 and 8 marks its 50th game fair in an unrivalled run of quality events.

Mr Titterington explained: “Our Game Fairs showcase country pastimes, conservation and the rural way of life. Every year we introduce new attractions, competitions and themes and this year is no exception being the ‘Year of the Salmon and Trout.’ And this fishy theme is the focal point for the huge Angling Village with everything one would expect at a top class angling show and more. Masses of tackle and plenty of bargains, boats, angling competitions, instruction and demonstrations, vintage tackle, fisheries, sporting art, taxidermy, and even game and fish cookery with Emmett McCourt in the Flogas kitchen. Plus John R. Moore displaying his painting of ‘Salmon on the Glendun River’ and other paintings.” Other pastimes such as shooting, hunting and working gundogs take pride of place. There’s a huge gunmaker’s row with displays of both modern and vintage weapons and even a product launch by Fabarm, clay pigeon shooting, black powder demonstrations, international equestrian displays, dog agility, horses, hounds and birds of prey. Apart from the much larger Angling Villages and Gunmakers Rows, all the ‘old favourite’ clothing companies are there plus some new ones.

The new Flavour Food Festival is yet another innovation. Organised and hosted by Flavour magazine, the Food Festival brings together an eclectic mix of producers, allowing visitors to sample and buy some of the finest food and drink available in Ireland. From handmade preserves and local whiskey including the newly launched Titanic Whiskey, to artisan breads and fine wines, there will be something sure to tickle your taste buds!

Don’t miss the ‘Golden Anniversary’ Fair at Shanes Castle on July 7 and 8 - see www.irishgamefair.com and the Irish Game and Country Fair at Birr Castle on August 25 and 26. The Fairs are supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Antrim Council, Shannon Development and Failte Ireland.