Ploughing on to keep tradition alive in Killarney

VIEWING from above, courtesy of modern drone technology, the fields at Fossa Farm in Killarney resembled a carefully manicured jigsaw of prime land but, at ground level, the effort that was required to make it look that way was very evident on the perspiring brows of the competitors.

John O’Leary, Aghadoe, who competed in the 1954 World Ploughing Championships, watches competitors in action at Fossa Farm on Sunday

A wonderful local tradition was maintained at the weekend at the Killarney Ploughing Championships and some wonderful demonstrations were observed with some true masters of the craft at work.

Killarney has a real history of top class ploughing as it hosted the 1954 World Ploughing Championships with 13 teams from all over the world competed over the two days.

And a small but hugely dedicated group of enthusiasts gather each year to ensure the great tradition is maintained for future generations with wide-eye young children watching on closely on Sunday thinking – and hoping – that one day, they might have an opportunity to demonstrate their own ploughing skills.

Keeping a close eye on competitors on Sunday was John O’Leary from Aghadoe who actually competed in the 1954 World Championships and he is still considered one of the foremost authorities of the discipline in the country and beyond.

Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan.Click on individual images for details