Sunday, April 1st is the date for this year’s County Roscommon Ploughing Championships, the 13th annual ploughing championships and field day. This year’s event will be held at the farm of Sean and Sheila Connaughton and promises to be bigger and better than ever because of the number of counties taking part in the ploughing event. 2007 is a special year because it marks the 50th anniversary of the All Ireland Championships held in Boyle fifty years ago. To mark the occasion, Pat Kent from Wexford, whose father ploughed in the 1957 event, will make the journey to Rahara. Presenting an event of this size and content, both of which continue to grow annually, is a huge commitment. The committee is keenly aware that many aspects have to be taken into account and a lot of preparatory work is done behind the scenes by a large and dedicated group of volunteers. This year’s site provides a large ploughing area, spacious trade stand and viewing area. It will include a crafts tent, children’s amusements and of course, ample parking space adjacent to the site. Speaking at Wednesday night’s press launch of the ploughing event, which took place in Hannon’s, PRO Donal Haughey gave special mention to Johnny Gallagher, who is recovering from a recent hospitalisation. Johnny was chief steward at the ploughing event for the past number of years and all at last night’s event wished him well in his recovery. ‘Firstly, we have to acknowledge our sponsors, our main sponsor this year is Bank of Ireland, The Square, Roscommon,’ said Mr. Haughey. Sincere thanks were extended to bank manager, Micheal Curley and his staff for their support and generous commitment to the 2007 ploughing event in Roscommon. ‘Thank you also to the many other sponsors who have been so generous in their support down through the years and the many hundreds of people who give willingly every year. The response so far this year indicates that this unique bond of friendship and goodwill is stronger than ever. Irrespective of the venue and Rahara is no exception, Roscommon Ploughing Association depends to a great extent on the voluntary help and encouragement from within the parish community. The Rahara community has clearly shown that they are one hundred percent behind this hugely important day and their positive response is a credit to their commitment. It is important to recognise that the Roscommon Ploughing Association relies to a great extent on this support to augment their own ground stewards, for manning access points and overall traffic control.