Down Anglers To Flock To New Angling Show At Shane’s Castle
Make a date for your diary!
ANGLING FOR EVERYONE AT NEW NORTHERN IRELAND SHOW
* THE OPPORTUNITY THAT DIDN’T GET AWAY *
10am – 6pm on Saturday 28th & 29th June, Shane’s Castle Estate, Antrim
It is arguably the biggest participation sport in the UK and Ireland, yet angling rarely receives the public profile it deserves. While the Republic of Ireland boasts three specialist angling shows, it is some time since Northern Ireland had its own angling spectacular.
Over the last couple of years; the largest angling presence at any Northern Ireland event has been the Angling Pavilion and Angling Village at the Irish Game Fair at Shane’s Castle, County Antrim.
Now that presence is about to get a whole lot bigger as the Game Fair organisers launch the Northern Ireland Angling Show, to be run in conjunction with the Province’s largest annual celebration of country sports, lifestyles and heritage at Shane’s Castle.
the support of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s Angling Outreach programme, the new Northern Ireland Angling Show will feature an increased number of specialist stands featuring fisheries, tackle dealers, boats, representative organisations, fly tying, casting instruction, competitions and a ‘put and take’ fishery for kids.
All anglers attending will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a top quality rod and a kid’s fishing outfit as well as having access to all the attractions of Ireland’s largest country sports event whose new attractions for 2014 will include medieval jousting and a Viking encampment, together with the return of the Flavour Ireland Fine Food Festival.
Looking forward to the high profile angling focus in June, Great Game Fairs Director Albert Titterington said: “Late last year the angling community faced the sad news that Ireland’s best loved angling magazine, The Irish Angler, was ceasing publication. Great Game Fairs of Ireland immediately stepped into the breach, creating the new Irish Game Angler magazine as a high quality insert into our already highly successful Irish Countrysports and Country Life magazine. Both are available in glossy magazine format as well as free to read online. The response to this from anglers right across Ireland was so immediate and so enthusiastic that we decided to take the bold move of developing a full scale angling show … we were determined that this opportunity wouldn’t be ‘the one that got away’.”
A veteran of 53 game fairs, Albert Titterington is a firm believer in the need to keep changing and enhancing his shows. He said: “We are always looking for new ideas to make the day out for the family an even more exciting and enjoyable experience and, with many new attractions in the pipeline, we were already confident that this year’s event would be the best ever. However, about six months ago, when one of the team came up with the idea of a specialist angling show which could be supported by our new Irish Game Angler magazine, we felt the opportunities were just too good to miss!
“Our stunning location at Shanes Castle bounded by Lough Neagh and the Sixmilewater and Maine rivers is an ideal setting for an angling event, providing a fabulous natural backdrop as well as some excellent angling – a great reminder of the tourism potential which angling unlocks, creating important economic benefits for the region.
“Our approach has been to create a show which not only answers the demands of the dedicated angling fraternity, but which also opens the sport to newcomers. We are determined to share our passion for fishing with everyone, whatever their past angling experience … or lack of it. Working with APGAI Ireland, The Angling Show will provide a unique kids’ experience where children can learn to tie a fly, to fly cast and then to take the fly and their newly acquired skill and try to catch a trout. If they get lucky, celebrity chef Emmett Mc Court will be on hand with a few ideas on how to cook their catch. We are delighted to have the support of DCAL in this initiative.”
Reinforcing the ‘fishing is for everyone’ theme, Dr Bethany Sinclair, Business Development Officer with DCAL’s Inland Fisheries Group, said: “DCAL are proud to support and exhibit at the Angling Show within the Irish Game Fair at Shane’s Castle this summer. It is an important local show for us, in terms of meeting our customers and networking with other angling professionals. DCAL’s Inland Fisheries Group are committed to increasing participation in freshwater angling at all levels of society, especially to promote equality and tackling poverty and social exclusion.”
One of Ireland’s best known names in angling, Stevie Munn is combining his expertise with that of The Great Game Fairs of Ireland Directors to create the new event. County Antrim man Stevie who runs the already highly successful Irish Fly Fair in Galway is a Hardy Greys Fly Casting Instructor, a qualified Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructor in Fly Tying and Fly Casting with APGAI-Ireland, and an APGAI fly casting instructor, teaching the art of fly fishing at every level. He said: “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to create such a major event in my home county and to promote a sport which, while it already has a huge following, also has massive capacity to grow and develop.”
Antrim Borough Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board will be key funders of The 2014 Irish Game Fair at Shane’s Castle, demonstrating their faith in angling and country pursuits as important economic drivers for the region. Looking forward to the event and supporting the official launch of the new Northern Ireland Angling Show, Cllr Roderick Swann, Mayor of Antrim, said: “Our Borough is blessed with stunning natural beauty, great rural traditions, a vibrant tourism and hospitality sector and an active country pursuits fraternity – all of which combine to make this the perfect location for Northern Ireland’s biggest and best Game Fair. We also have some of the best fishing in the Province, so what better home could there be for this great new Angling Show?
“The creation of a dedicated new show will not only reinforce the popularity and strength of the Irish Game Fair, but will also serve as a powerful reminder of the growing appeal of country sports to local, national and international visitors. We are delighted that our borough is centre stage of this important venture and our specialist angling providers and general hospitality sector are all poised to take advantage of the opportunities which lie ahead.”
Michael Martin from the Six Mile Water Trust which will be an important partner in staging the event said: “The Trust was established to afford better protection, welfare, enhancement and restoration of the natural environment, including fish and wildlife, of the Six Mile Water and its catchment area and we see this new show as a fantastic vehicle for us to promote that ethos. It will also give us a brilliant opportunity to introduce the wonderful natural beauties of the Six Mile Water to visitors to our region … and, perhaps, enable us to remind people lucky enough to live here, of the beauties which are quite literally on their doorstep. For us, it’s all about getting out there to enjoy and appreciate the environment and we see angling is a great introduction to the Great Outdoors!”
Lyall Plant of the Countryside Alliance is particularly pleased at the ‘fishing for all’ theme which will underpin the new show. He explained: “Angling is arguably one of the most accessible of all country sports and we look forward to encouraging people of all ages and from all walks of life to ‘have a go’. We’re hoping that an informal casting session, a taste of fly tying or a chat with one of our experts at the Fair will encourage people to take to the rivers, loughs and shores of Northern Ireland to discover and enjoy all that fishing has to offer.
“Reinforcing the message that fishing is for all, we will be promoting the Countryside Alliance designated charity ‘Casting For Recovery’ at the show – an organisation which organises hugely successful angling retreats for women recovering from Breast Cancer.”
Noel Carr of FISSTA (The Federation of Irish Salmon and Sea-Trout Anglers) added his organisation’s endorsement to the new show, saying: “Our 20,000 members across Ireland have long been active and enthusiastic supporters of the Irish Game Fair in the North and of its sister show at Birr Castle, just across the border, but the creation of a dedicated new Angling Show will add a heightened interest in 2014. The fishing season has got off to a great start this year – and the announcement of the Northern Ireland Angling Show is something that will bring yet more ‘net gains’ to the country sports fraternity: we wish its organisers every success!”
This latest family focus for the Shane’s Castle game fair supports the organisers’ ethos of promoting country pursuits to the young and adds further weight to now annual competitions launched last year in association with the scouting movement, plus a plethora of family-friendly participative activities including junior air rifle shooting, archery and the ever-popular Living History Encampment in the evocative loughside setting of the old ruined castle.
All DCAL permit holders or licence holders can have a £5 voucher for admission off the cost of an adult ticket (normally £10) or a family Ticket (normally £25) or will cover a child’s admission (normally £5). Discount vouchers are available at angling shops or by contacting E:
[email protected] or Tel: 028 44839167
The Angling Show and Fair take place from 10am – 6pm on Saturday 28th & 29th June at Shane’s Castle Estate, Antrim. The Irish Game Fair & Flavour Ireland Fine Food Festival is sponsored by the NITB and Antrim Borough Council.
Visit www.irishgamefair.com to find out more.