Hopes high of Irish ploughing win

The Republic of Ireland team for the 51st World Ploughing Contest, to be staged on the shores of Lough Foyle in Co Derry on September 3 and 4, are already practicing on the site.

Eamon Treacy, Garryhill, Co Carlow, and Seán Keating, New Ross, Co Wexford, will carry the hopes of ploughing enthusiasts in the Republic at the event which the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association will host for the fourth time.

Managing the team for the contest on a 170-acre farm at Ballykelly is Pat Brandon, Ballylinan, Co Laois, while the Irish judge will be Pat KcKeown, Dromiskin, Dundalk, Co Louth.

A total of 55 competitors from 28 countries will take part in the event, which will be preceded by the 61st Northern Ireland Ploughing Championship on September 2. Hopes are high that the team from the Republic will bring off the title, which would give the National Ploughing Association a great boost as it prepares to host the 2006 world event in Carlow.

Next week’s contest will be held on the Barr family farm, an arable unit, growing barley, wheat and peas, plus 30 hectares of forestry.

Meanwhile, the preparations for this year’s national championships in Tullow on September 28-30 are well underway, with a big demand on accommodation in the south Leinster region. Next year’s championships will be held at Mogeely in east Cork.

Farm Minister Joe Walsh said the ploughing championships were our premier farming event. “They act as a showcase for the farming sector and they have fulfilled that role with flair and distinction for many years.”

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