Garvey’s SuperValu store in Castleisland has been doing food fairs here in town since long before they were popular or profitable. Now they’re all the go – as Wednesday’s packed-out event at the local store proved.
There were butchers, bakers and candle-stick makers from all corners of the country. Gerard Murphy acted as master of ceremonies and his interviews were broadcast throughout the store.
Every Port in Ireland
There were fishermen from every port on this island and a chutney maker from as far away as Cavan.
There was a time in Ireland when brewers attracted the attentions of breeze sniffing Gardaí and the consequences of their rural, hide-away activities could have landed them in jail.
God bless the brewers but there was great evidence of the survival of the tradition and of their transition into the legal framework which prevails today – and not a guard in sight.
Brewers are now so legit that they are out in the open and promoting their wares with stands at food fairs and people taking sips of warm punch or handy glasses of beer without as much as a glance around them.
John and Eleanor Cronin from Finuge were there in the foyer on Wednesday evening and they were the first to meet and great the Food Fair fans as they arrived.
Those arriving were offered a hot drop on a cold evening and many of the sippers engaged the Cronins in discussion about their product ‘Cronin’s Quality Cider.’
Inside, Lyreacrompane native, John Keane was manning the Killarney based Torc Brewing stand and, like the Cronins, he too was offering sips of his company’s products to willing tasters. Pardon me for dwelling on the drink but it gladdens my heart to see and hear of breweries springing up around the country like they are now. I think it’s a great sign of us as a nation and may we never lose our sense of humour or initiative or the mind we have for what they squeeze from the apple, the grape or the grain.
Bristling with Industry
That the Ireland of today is thoroughly bristling with industry is beyond doubt and the health of our food sector is unquestionable. And the drink – oh boy the drink.
Fair play to Garvey’s and their equals for allowing all these people – who labour long hours on their own – a platform on which to display the fruits of that labour.
You could only hope that the tasters appreciate what goes into the making of what goes into their mouths.