Rose Daly and her hens and (left) An Gobha Tom King.

Who's heading for Dunderry Fair? It's the 20th anniversary of the unique celebration of music, livestock, artisan foods and traditions

This year marks the 20th anniversary of “The old Dunderry Fair“ on Sunday May 12th. Unique in its combination of music, livestock, artisan foods, tradition and match making, the 20th anniversary promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Headlining three stages of music this year is the award winning country star Gerry Guthrie, a great favourite over the years who will be supported by our own local country star Matt Leavy.

The Ballina based singer has been fronting his own five piece touring band since 2010. During his time touring, his success in England and Scotland has made him a household name in the UK. He worked as a guitar player for many leading Irish artists such as Sandy Kelly and Louise Morrissey.

With six studio albums released and a number of promotional singles including 'The Lucky Horseshoe' that was written for him by his friend and manager, Henry Mc Mahon. Gerry also just released a brand new radio single ‘I Couldn't Get My Mind Off You.’

Other big radio hits that Gerry released are ‘The Boxer’, ‘Did She Mention My Name’, ‘Another Saturday Night’ and ‘The Doghouse’.

2024 has been a busy year for Gerry with his and the band’s first concert tour. Also part of the schedule were tours to Europe with the various sun music holidays along with headlining ‘Countryfest’ and ‘Gerry Guthrie and Friends’ in Aberdeen with his musical friends such as Kathy Durkin, Matt Leavy, Damian Davis, Carmel McLoughlin and Mayo singers Clodagh Togher and Mick Mulhern.

Local country star, Matt Leavy - who will be joining Gerry at Dunderry Fair - supported Gerry in Aberdeen earlier this year at Countryfest. "I would know Gerry for the past 20 or 25 years we are good friends so it'll be great to meet up with him, its only really events like this where you get to see them" he says.

Matt sums up his experience playing at the annual jamboree. "It's been great playing at Dunderry Fair. It's a local event for me. It's always a good day with all the dancing and singing, they also have great attractions there too. I suppose it's going back to what it was many years ago. It's great for people that have never experienced a fair before to see what it's like and if the sun is shining that's a bonus too."

Some of Matt’s hit songs include ‘Who Left the Door to Heaven Open,’ ‘Streets of Bakersfield’ and ‘The Preacher.’

First prize for the jiving competition is a weekend in the luxurious Redcastle Hotel in Donegal. Redcastle is an award winning leading resort in the North west. The ceile stage is where ‘Rise the dust’ will be doing just that while joined by the award-winning Irish dancers.

In the traditional, safe, veterinarian approved facility, the rare breeds of sheep and cattle from yesteryear will be there to see. Highlands, Dexters, Galloways and the famous Highlands all roamed the lands in farming history.

Special guest in the sheep section will be Beans the ewe and her quintuplets. This one in a million chance of five lambs, made famous by the Joe Duffy Show, will be on display for all to see. Daddy, Tinder the ram may also find time from his busy schedule to attend.

This year the rare breeds livestock section is kindly sponsored by Carnaross Mart, the region’s largest cattle market.

The falconary display is back this year, as is the scarecrow competition and a tug-of-war tournament.

There will be a huge array of food stalls many with organic produce to suit all tastes and entertainment for the kids with the fun fair, face painting and the junior music stage.

The match-maker will be operating discreetly, introducing suitable candidates in the thatch cottage, better known locally as the love shack.

Dunderry Fair are proud to confirm their main charity partners this year, Temple Street Children’s Hospital and the Meath Hospice Home care movement.

With everyone's support these organisations and many more worthy local causes will be benefitting. Tickets can be bought in advance on Eventbrite. General admisison is €15 euro, 10 to 18 year olds cost €5 and all children under 10 years of age have free entry with free parking also available.