Ploughing Championships take place this Sunday in Ballinaheglish

Jam-packed schedule in store to celebrate 30-year milestone

After much anticipation, the 2024 Roscommon Ploughing Championships are set to take place this weekend on Sunday, the 19th of May, having been rescheduled from the original date of May 5th (they were cancelled at the time, due to poor weather conditions). The Championships will be held in Ballinaheglish (F42Y436) by kind permission of Paddy Beirne and family.

Roscommon’s annual ploughing festival is an event which attracts thousands of returning visitors every year. And this year, it’s an even more significant occasion for Roscommon Ploughing Association, as it is the 30th anniversary of the first event.

This huge milestone represents three decades of hard work, dedication, and positive impact by the members and volunteers who have contributed over the years – many of whom have remained involved since the Association reformed in 1994.

The Ploughing Championships are an annual event that celebrates the skill and artistry of ploughing. It is a competition where participants showcase their ability to plough a plot with precision and efficiency.

“These are our County championships, which are qualifiers for national level”, explained association treasurer Martina Beirne, clarifying that neighbouring counties, who will also be participating, are required to compete in the Open classes per qualifying criteria under NPA rules.

Competitors are asked to start arriving at 9 am, where they will check in with the secretary’s office and be allocated plot numbers, before starting off the competition at 12 noon. All classes of ploughing competition will feature – both confined for the Roscommon competitors and open for the visitors. The championships will include senior and junior categories for the usual tractor, horse, and vintage ploughing competitions, and a loy digging competition will also take place.

While the ploughing forms the main core of the event, the day in Ballinaheglish is also set to feature a host of other agricultural activities, exhibits, and entertainment.

A number of kids’ events and attractions have also been lined up – from face-painting and balloon modelling, to pet farms and rides – but the entertainment doesn’t stop there. Talented local singers will be performing live on stage and an outdoor dancing floor is going to be provided for those that like to waltz or jive!

The ever-popular traditional craft village will also be there, playing host to demonstrations of traditional crafts – such as a farrier with his forge, wood carving, weaving with rushes for baskets, and traditional fence-making – which gives visitors a rare opportunity to learn these skills and get involved on the day.

To compliment the craft village, various Roscommon vintage clubs will also be present, as well as other groups and individual enthusiasts interested in the preservation and restoration of old cars, tractors, farm machinery (like threshing machines, etc), and other memorabilia from our social and agricultural heritage.

The trade fair will also be running again this year, and the Roscommon Hunt will be showcasing a skills demonstration for the public. The Garda Mounted Support unit will also be present.

There is sure to be something for everyone, no matter what your interests or age, at the upcoming Ploughing Championships. Be sure not to miss out on the fun, and come along on Sunday to support the community-focused event and enjoy a great day out!

For those interested in ploughing entries and trade stands, please contact Roscommon Ploughing Association’s treasurer Martina Beirne on 087 6141503 or via email at roscommonploughing@gmail.com. Keep up to date on this year’s upcoming event and all things Roscommon Ploughing by following the association on Facebook.