09 Aug 2022

Longford Ploughing Memories 1992: Generations of ploughmen attend 58th Longford Championships

The 58th County Longford Ploughing Championship took place twenty-five years ago, on Sunday, March 8, 1992, and in this  #ThrowbackThursday we reproduce the Longford Leader report and some photographs from the event held in Barry.

If the members of Longford Ploughing Association spent all last week on their hands and knees praying for good weather for their 58th Annual County Ploughing Championship their efforts were not in vain.

It was the acknowledged view of all the experts at the County Ploughing Championship at Lislum, Barry on Sunday afternoon last that weather conditions were “near perfect” for ploughing. The rain stayed away and the new  29-acre site for this year's event proved to be a real winner with both spectators and participants.

The townsland of Lislum is steeped in the tradition of ploughing and nowhere was this more evident on Sunday last than in the Jordan family, who had four generations of the same family taking part in competitive ploughing.

Having spent “a whole lifetime” ploughing with horses, 75-year old James Jordan showed ploughmen of all ages that he is still as adept at ploughing as he ever was by taking the reins of Frank Rooney's two Clydesdale horses and expertly ploughing a furrow on Sunday afternoon.

James' son, Bernard, was engaged in some skilful ploughing elsewhere on the Lislum site on Sunday, as was the third generation of the Jordan family, Bernard's son, James Jnr.

The youngest member of the Jordan ploughing dynasty, 3 year old Bernard Jnr, was keeping a watchful eye on his great-grandfather having tried his hand at some Junior Ploughing on a baby tractor – there's no such thing as starting these ploughmen too early!

The treasurer of the Longford Ploughing Association, Frank Rooney, also believes in keeping the ploughing tradition alive in his family. His daughter, Ann-Marie, was one of the competitors on Sunday afternoon last as were the Reynolds family from Edgeworthstown, father, sons and daughter , Olivia.

Ploughmen (and women) from all corners of Ireland and with varying levels of experience, travelled to Longford on Sunday last to take part in the County Ploughing Championships, and one of the areas of operation which generated most interest was the Vintage Class.

The tractors in the Vintage Class were all shapes, sizes and colours. There were baby Fordsons in bright orange and bright blue, a green John Deere, and a magnificent bright red McCormick Farmall “Cub” tractor which was manufactured in Chicago in 1949 by the international Harvester Company and is now proudly owned by John Daly from Dundalk.

The chairperson of the National Ploughing Association, Mrs Anna May McHugh was dressed in a well-cut mustard jacket and check skirt and was given a bird's eye view of proceedings from the back of a luminous red donkey-drawn gig!

Well-known writer on rural issues Monica Carr, was given a quick tour of the Ploughing Championship site in a Land Rover driven by Longford Ploughing Association PRO, Raymond White from Abbeyshrule. Former Independent Councillor from Kenagh, Michael Brennan was decked out in his wellingtons for the Ploughing Championships while Ballymahon Fianna Fáil Councillor, Barney Steele, left his at home.

The members of Kenagh Macra na Feirme were out in force on Sunday last as well, under the watchful eye of Seamus Kiernan. They were undertaking a collection on behalf of the Children's Research Centre at Crumlin Hospital and had organised a number of novel fundraising events for the afternoon.

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