Farming show held on site of former Maze prison

A farmer prepares his sheep for show on the first day of the Balmoral show. Picture: PA
A farmer prepares his sheep for show on the first day of the Balmoral show. Picture: PA
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OVER 80,000 people are expected to attend the inaugural Balmoral Show held on the site of the former Maze prison in Northern Ireland.

Prince Edward, who is patron of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, (RUAS) attended the event which is taking place outside Belfast for the first time in its 145 year history.

The new site at the Maze, named Balmoral Park, has been built on the rubble of the former H-blocks which housed political prisoners during the Troubles.

Almost 27,000 tonnes of concrete left behind when the Maze’s H blocks were razed to the ground were recycled and used as foundations for the marquees and arenas.

Last June, members of the RUAS voted in favour of moving their headquarters to the former prison site.

The park has been transformed in recent weeks to accommodate the many exhibitions and hundreds of animals on display.

The roads around the site were congested on Wednesday morning as thousands of people made their way to the show.

First Minister Peter Robinson said he hoped any problems with access would be overcome.

“We’ll look at what happens in the next couple of days and look at the possibility of doing something that might take away some of the difficulties that occur this year,” he said.