‘God Speed the Plough’ as they say, and he certainly did last Sunday as the sun kissed gently down on the land of the Mulvihill Family in Ballymahon where the 77th annual County Longford Ploughing Championships took place. They came from all over the country - in their droves - some part-taking in the various classes on offer; loy digging, horse and tractor ploughing, while others simply mingled and chatted in the glorious sunshine, basking in the coming together of small communities and enjoying all that is good and innovative about Co Longford.
During the blessing of the site by Rev Kingston and Fr McGowan, they thanked God for “nature” and “the power of growth” that came from it.
David Mulvihill then said that it was “an honour” for him and his family to host the ploughing championships, an event that holds a place dear in the family’s heart. “It was my great grandfather Hugh Garrahan who hosted the ploughing on his land in Ballymahon in 1936,” Mr Mulvihill explained, adding that it was a wonderful occasion that brought the whole community together. “I would like to pay tribute to the County Longford Ploughing Association (LPA) for the professional and dedicated manner in which they have prepared for the championships over the past few days.”
Chairman, National Ploughing Association (NPA) Eddie Halley said that the County Longford Ploughing Championships was one of the “biggest events” of its kind outside of the national ploughing event and he paid tribute to those involved in its organisation. “A lot of work went into preparing this site for today,” he said, adding that it “was as good a site as I ever came across”. “There is a massive crowd here today and the ploughing championships in Longford are of the highest standard.”
Longford Ploughing Chairman Eamon Egan said that he was delighted with the success of this year’s event and he looked forward to Co Longford being “well represented” at the National Ploughing Championships which will take place later this year.