Hero's homecoming for world champion
HAVING WON the title of world champion at reversible ploughing in Canada, Ballycullane man John Whelan returned home to a hero's welcome on Friday night.
Hundreds of people turned out to cheer on Mr. Whelan as he was brought through his village on a trailer, trophy in hand, surrounded by his wife, Margaret and children, Sean, Padraig, Stephen and Katie, as well as his team.
Wearing a green winner's jacket adorned with several medals, the 43-year-old man from nearby Ballinruane couldn't hide his joy at having won the world champion title in Olds College, Alberta, Canada the previous Saturday.
Mr. Whelan was greeted with an almighty roar as he arrived in front of the stage, holding aloft his sword-like trophy.
Speaking to this newspaper afterwards, he said: 'It's been one of the best weeks of my life. The amount of phone calls, text messages and emails I've got has just been unreal. There are people here from all over the country; rivals of mine who I have ploughed against. That means the world to me.'