Irish ploughmen to line up on world stage

THE team of ploughmen to represent Ireland in the 52nd world championships in Prague flew out to the Czech Republic from Dublin Airport yesterday.

Team manager Liam O’Driscoll, of Knockbrown, Bandon, Co Cork, said that John Whelan from New Ross and John Tracey from Garyhill, Co Carlow, will hopefully do well in the international contests on September 16 and 17.

That’s just over a week before the national ploughing championships begin at Mogeely in East Cork.

The Irish competitors will be back in time for that event.

A total of 29 countries will take part in the world championships, which are being organised by the Czech Ploughing Society in partnership with the Czech Ministry of Agriculture and the Czech University of Agriculture.

Ireland will be represented for the first time in the reversible plough event at the Czech University of Agriculture complex by

Mr Whelan, who won the national title at Tullow, Co Carlow, last year.

He will be one of 30 competitors.

Mr Treacy, who has been placed second on four occasions, will be going all out to win the conventional ploughing title against 27 other contenders.

Mr O’Driscoll said he was confident the pair, whose ploughs were taken to Prague last week, will do very well.

“They have a very good chance of success. We are looking forward to both competitions,” he said.

Ireland East MEP Avril Doyle was among those to wish the team every possible success at a send off reception in Carlow, which was also attended by Pat McKeown, who will be the Irish judge at the event.

The world championships will also be a special occasion for Anna May McHugh, managing director of the National Ploughing Association, as it will organise and host next year’s event in Tullow, Co Carlow.

Meanwhile, the NPA will announce details of this year’s national championships on site in Mogeely today as the build-up to the spectacle gains momentum.

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