‘Thank God we had farming during lockdown!’

Mary delighted with return of the ploughing

The Chairperson of the Roscommon Ploughing Association said she was pleased the event was returning to the county next month following a three-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

  Mary Conry-Candler said the decision to stage the Ploughing Championships on Sunday, April 3rd had received the full backing of the committee and its supporters.

  “It was very lastminute.com as the fella says, but it is great that everyone was so enthusiastic about hosting it again this year,” she said.

  “We needed to host the county championships so as to have qualifiers for the All-Ireland Ploughing Championships, which take place in September in Ratheniska in Laois”.

  Mary, a former Roscommon IFA Chairperson and suckler farmer based in the parish of Ballintubber, said Covid-19 had posed a number of challenges to farmers and those involved in the popular event.

  “A lot of our members were out and about doing their bit of work during the pandemic…thank God we had farming and something to do during the restrictions,” she said.

  “We held a meeting a couple of weeks ago in Kenny’s in Rockfield (before the final decision to proceed with County Ploughing Championships) and the local people all seemed very happy to get on board”.

  The hard-working chairperson said it was important to stage the championships in as many different areas of the county as possible. She paid tribute to Michael and Ann Lambert and family, who will host the event this year on their lands at Rockfield.

  “We like to move the Ploughing Championships around to different areas as much as possible to support farming communities across Roscommon and to highlight each area,” she said.

  “The Ploughing Championships and Field Day will follow its usual format this year and will begin at 12 noon in Rockfield (F42 V383). There will be tractor, horse and vintage ploughing and trade stands on the day. The Roscommon Hunt Society and Roscommon Vintage Club will also be taking part and there will also be the traditional Loy ploughing competition with Gerry Browne”.

  There will be a total of €3,000 in prize money up for grabs on Sunday, April 3rd and this year’s main sponsors are Lambert Tractors.

  “There will be food available on the day as well as a Hunt chase, junior and senior competitions and a craft village,” Mary said.

  “The ploughing was last held in 2019 in Kilbegnet, Creggs so we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to what we hope will be another successful Roscommon Ploughing Championships,” Mary concluded.