BY JOHN SEXTON
‘BY your achievements at the European Championships in Scotland, gaining first and second, you have put the status of Irish men to match the best in Europe and beyond,’ stated the managing director of the National Ploughing Association, Mrs Anna May McHugh.
She was speaking of Ger Coakley and Liam O’Driscoll at the Cork West Ploughing dinner at Fernhill House Hotel which celebrated the considerable achievements of local ploughmen in 2016. She went on to say how pleased she was to be in Clonakilty, recently acclaimed the leading town in Europe.
Returning to the European Championships, she said that the performances of both Ger and Liam were all the more commendable since they had to compete against the top ploughmen from all over Europe and beyond.
She said that it was one of the proudest moments of her life to welcome them back in Cork Airport to such a glorious fanfare from well-wishing supporters.
The team was accompanied in Scotland by Jackie O’Driscoll and John Matt O’Donovan (both former champions) and a large group of ploughmen and supporters from Cork West.
The Cork West team performed very well in the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, winning seven firsts and a number of seconds and thirds. Members were presented with special mementoes to commemorate the occasion, including Ger Coakley, Kieran Coakley, Aidan O’Donovan, Matt Coakley, John Murphy, Gordon Jennings, James O’Sullivan, Rose Nyhan, Barry O’Sullivan, John Matt O Donovan, Michael Wycherley, Dan Hurley, John O’Neill, John Wolfe, John O’Donovan, Tim Lawlor, Gearóid McCarthy, Cian Harrington and Adrian Grace.