Next stop Wexford for plough champs
WITH THE National Ploughing Championships over for another year, the focus is now firmly set on staging the multimillion euro event in Wexford next September.
Preparations are already well underway to stage the event, which costs more than €3 million, on lands at Ballinaboola, just outside New Ross.
It is already hoped the championships, which will take place next year from September 25 to 27, will be as successful as last week's Athy event and generate a spin off up to €15 million for the local economy.
According to Anna Marie McHugh from the National Ploughing Association, much work has already gone into preparing the site for next year's championships and in booking accommodation.
As part of the preparatory works, the two main site owners, David Dwyer and Peter Kehoe, have sown grass seeds for the trade areas, car parking has already been booked and all accommodation for the 250 NPA stewards, judges and supervisors in hotels and accommodations between New Ross and Barntown.
Although the events are a year away, Anna Marie has appealed to local businesses and organisations who are interested in being part of exhibition area to log their details now with the NPA and she is also encouraging locals who wish to open up their homes during the event to contact the association.
'Due to the numbers of people who go to the ploughing it is always necessary to have unregistered accommodation. If people have a spare room and are interested they can contact the NPA and we'll take their details and will find someone in area to co-ordinate unregistered accommodation,' explained Anna Marie.
Meanwhile, Wexford top ploughmen excelled yet again at the championships, bringing home three winning titles – including a world title.
Renowned ploughman John Whelan from Ballycullane won the World Challenge Reversible Class on day three of the championships, while Willie John Kehoe from Clongeen brought home all-Ireland honours when he won the Intermediate Conventional Class Final on Tuesday. Willie Murphy from Oylegate secured first place in the Vintage Two Furrow Trailer Class.
Three-time world champion Martin Kehoe from Clongeen came in third place in the World Challenge Conventional Class on Tuesday and secured joint-second spot in the World Challenge Conventional Class final on Thursday.
In the under-28 Reversible, his son Martin Kehoe Junior came in third place. Pat Murphy from Oylegate was fifth in the under-28 Conventional Class Senior Grade and Pat Furlong was awarded second place in the Three Furrow Conventional Match Final
Eleanor Kehoe, who has twice held the title of Queen of the Plough, came seventh in the Farmerette Conventional Class on day two of the competitions. Also that day, Nicholas Cullen was awarded third place in the Vintage Two Furrow Mounted Class.
The final day saw John Whelan second and Dan Donnelly from Kilmuckridge fourth in the Kverneland Reversible Test Match, Frank Doyle was placed second in the Loy Class, Willie John Kehoe and Sean Keating were placed second and fifth place respectively in the Senior Conventional Test Match, Paul Doran secured third position in the Standard Three Furrow Reversible and Nicholas Walsh from Adamstown was awarded joint second place in the Vintage Single Furrow Mounted.