Ploughing legend Thady honoured

A MONUMENT to the legendary ploughman Thady Kelleher, who won two international championships which were, in effect world titles, as well as four senior Irish titles and 40 county honours, was unveiled on the outskirts of Kanturk last Saturday.

The sculptor by Don Cronin, Bandon, depicts Thady in typical poise behind a plough, and occupies a commanding position beside the Kanturk-Banteer road near where he farmed until his death, at aged 69, in 2004.

IRD Duhallow, Kanturk Community Council and the Kelleher family, with the co-operation of Cork County Council, were responsible for commissioning and erecting the sculpture as a fitting reminder of a man who was regarded as one of the great exponents of the ancient art of ploughing with horses.

Thady’s brother, Denis, unveiled the sculpture. His sisters, Anne, Peg, Sheila, Eily and Kay, were also present.

Jack Roche, IRD Duhallow, said the monument will not alone honour a unique sportsman and ploughing champion, it will also illustrate a skill and a trade that was prominent for hundreds of years.

People like Thady Kelleher had a skill that went with a great pride in their work.

William Cashin, presided at the ceremony during which John McCarthy, National Ploughing Association, outlined Thady’s successes in competitive horse ploughing.

Kanturk Community Council chairman Tom O’Sullivan said the monument project was an example of what can be achieved with an inter agency spirit.

Thady Kelleher’s life and times are recorded in Star of the Plough, written and compiled by his sister, Sheila.

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