National ploughing supremo talks up Co Longford Championships

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Anna May McHugh

Anna May McHugh is the Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championships.

The Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association (NPA), Anna May McHugh has paid huge tribute to members of the County Longford Ploughing Association this week.

“The Longford Ploughing match which is taking place in Carrickedmond on March 25, is a fantastic event for the county,” she said, before pointing out that it was regarded as one of largest and most prestigious local matches that takes place in every county around the country.

“The event includes live entertainment and this year sees rising country star Ciarán Rosney on stage.

“There will be bustling trade stands, great crowds and fierce competition.”

Anna May went on to say that The National Ploughing Association (NPA) was founded in 1931 and its mission statement was; ‘To bring the message of good ploughing to all parts of the country and to provide a pleasant and friendly place to meet and do business’.

“Never is this more evident than at the Longford match,” the NPA Managing Director smiled.

“Longford Ploughing has a long tradition and can always be relied upon to enter quality competitors and provide judges, coaches and stewards to assist in the National Ploughing Championships, and this is much appreciated by the National Association.”

This year’s National Ploughing Championships are set to return to Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly from September 18-20 and this is due largely in point to the triumph of the 2017 event.

“We are delighted to be staging the event in Screggan again this year,” said Anna May.

“Feedback from land-owners, the local community and the wider public has been very positive and all were incredibly enthusiastic to see a return.”

Last year Anna May told her story in a brand new book entitled ‘Queen of the Ploughing.'

Her description of growing up as part of a large family in Co Laois provided an evocative and affectionate account of an Ireland that has long departed.

In her account of how she went from being a secretary of the Ploughing Association, her first job, to becoming - to her own amazement - its managing director twenty years later, is a story of leadership and people skills that are very much of the twenty-first century.

Still living in Co Laois, close to where she grew up, and now in her eighties, Anna May continues to run the multi-million euro operation from her home, alongside her daughter, Anna Marie.

‘Queen of the Ploughing’ is a captivating read, full of warmth, lively stories and Anna May's sharp observations.

And it's not just about Anna May's life, it is also a celebration of the best of Irish life over eight decades.

God Speed the Plough!

ALSO READ:

County Longford Ploughing Championships to return to Carrickedmond