Stormont Minister Michelle O’Neill was well impressed when she visited the annual Londonderry and Limavady Agriculture Show on Saturday.
After touring the livestock and a host of other stands at the Aghanloo grounds, Minister O’Neill told the ‘Journal’ local agricultural shows are an important event in the farming calendar and make an important contribution to the local agri-food industry and the rural communities in which they take place.
“They are a great showcase and a social gathering for anyone with an interest in the rural way of life,” she said. “Today’s visit to the Derry/Limavady Show marks the beginning of my visits to local agriculture shows this summer and I am impressed by the large numbers of enthusiastic people who have worked exceedingly hard to make this show function. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tour of the livestock classes and home industries at today’s show. Today’s weather hasn’t been the most favourable, but spirits don’t seem to have been dampened by it and it’s great to see so many people come out to support the farmers’ efforts.”
Prior to the show, the Minister met with Sinn Fein representatives where the issue of bringing offices belonging to Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) to the former Shackleton Barracks was raised.
Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey said his party is working hard to bring the jobs to Ballykelly. Last month the ‘Journal’ revealed how the re-location is thought to be between Ballykelly and Strabane.
“It’s very disappointing to see how long these processes take, although I understand there is a complicated process to adhere to,” he said. “We discussed this with the Minister on Saturday, but there is still no decision because talks are ongoing.”
He added: “I am still hopeful, however, the decision will be in favour of Ballykelly.”