A team of six ploughing competitors represented Longford at the National Ploughing Championships, behind closed gates from Wednesday, September 15 to Friday, September 17, 2021 in Ratheniska, Co Laois.
The event was a master class of cultivation with the finest ploughmen and women from all over the country battling it out on a 150 acre site over the 3 days.
In an outstanding performance for County Longford, three of the team came home with medals and Edgeworthstown lady Sinead Monaghan, who ploughed in the Farmerette Class, was narrowly pipped into 4th place.
U21 Conventional Plough Class Junior Silver Medal Daniel Haughey; Junior Conventional Plough Class Bronze Medal Martin Reilly; U28 Conventional Class Junior Bronze Medal Andrew Stewart; Farmerette Class Sinead Monaghan 4th Place; Intermediate Conventional Class Sean Monaghan and Senior Conventional Plough Class Anthony Reynolds.
For those people who could go, ‘Ploughing 21’ behind closed gates was a memorable social reunion, where there was time to find all your friends with ease, visit comrades ploughing plots and share time together as old friendships renewed.
Looking to the future, the exhibition is set for a huge comeback this year after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile the World Ploughing contest which was due to take place in Russia on August 13 and 14 has been cancelled, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This puts Ireland in the spotlight as a potential host for this year’s World Ploughing.
“The automatic process would be, if a country pulls out the next country on the host list is invited to hold the event. That is why the Republic of Ireland would have been the first country that got the option to consider hosting, as we were due to host the World Ploughing Contest in 2023,” said AnnaMay McHugh.
The NPA is considering this very carefully and certainly prepared to try and make it happen, if it’s feasible to do so. However the situation is very fluid, there are a lot of discussions and that scenario may fade.
Next Sunday, our local ploughing competitors will be focused on qualifying to represent County Longford in the National Ploughing Championship 2022 in Ratheniska, Co Laois, which is scheduled for September 20-22. We wish all competitors well in their endeavours as they compete to turn the sod.
For the new team that qualifies, the memories of the convenience and freedom of ploughing behind closed gates will be in their imagination. With so many challenging irons in the fire, how will the National Ploughing Association succeed in delivering their dreams in Ratheniska, as the challenges of a big national event return and a possible world event looms.
The Longford Ploughing Association committee pictured in Macken's, Granard in March 2020. Front l to r; Brendan Quigley (Vice President), Bernard Jordan (Vice President), Cynthia Geelan Cruise (Chairperson), Bernard Kenny (NPA Director) and Thomas Monaghan (Ploughing tutor) Back; John Maye (Exhibition Manager), Neville Mills (Treasurer), Barry White (Vice Chairperson), Declan McCormack (Safety Officer,) Mel McKenna (Treasurer), Tom Bannon (Secretary) and Luke Casey (PRO) Picture: Shelley Corcoran
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