BY JOHN SEXTON
BY any measure, the Timoleague Ploughing Championships of 2015 will go down in history as one of the most outstanding and successful for any county event in the country – an excellent grassland site at Meelmane Farms, an extremely large attendance, a glorious fine day, the presence of the managing director of the National Ploughing Association, Mrs Anna May McHugh, and the production of a booklet, with illustrations spanning the 80-year history of the association.
Launching the booklet, Mrs McHugh, paid a glowing tribute to the Timoleague Ploughing Association, whose members have been a massive support to the NPA down through the years. While her own local event at Ballylinan, Co Laois, was on the same day, she felt it her duty to be present at this historic event in Timoleague to reciprocate the valued work being done by many of its members, and their secretary John Sexton, in particular with the running-off of the National championships each year.
The judging panel of John McSweeney, Paddy Power, Harry McGrath & Maurice Walsh, from West Waterford, described the site as the best they had ever seen and this was reflected on the high standard of workmanship. Officers of the County Association present included, Kieran Keohane, chairman; Michael Walsh, secretary; John Hurley, treasurer, and Richard White (PRO). Also present were Denis Keohane, vice-chairman of the NPA, and giving spiritual support, no fewer than five Clerics graced the event – Frs Finbarr O’Leary (Barryroe), Pat O’Donovan (Kilmichael), Peter Quaelly (Rockwell and Broadstrand), Tom Sexton (‘Sun View’ and Saint Augustine’s, Cork) and Pat Hickey (Timoleague), who during the presentation of prizes expressed the hope that we would all be on the right side of the sod this time next year.
There were many links with the original Tomoleague committee, most notably the O’Donovan and Wolfe families. John Wolfe was a member of the 1936 committeeaand his nephew John and grand-nephew Leslie were winners in the novice section on Sunday.
It was also gratifying to meet so many loyal supporters present, such as John O’Sullivan (Skibbereen), Jim O’Sullivan (Cahermore) and John Walsh (Bandon). We also met Harold Kingston, chairman of the IFA National Enviornment Committee, and Jim Moloney, chairman of Barryroe Show, on whose grandfather’s land the 1948 fixture was held.
Senior Tractor: 1 Barry O’Sullivan, 2 Jim Grace, 3 Jimmy Nyhan, 4 John A O’Donovan, 5 Jackie O’Driscoll, 6 DJ Keohane, 7 Stanley Deane.
Farmerette: Siobhan Hennessy.
Under 28: 1 Kieran Coakley, 2 Ger Kirby.
Under 21: 1 Aidan O’Donovan, 2 David Walsh, 3 Conor O’Farrell, 4 Andrew O’Donovan. Intermediate: 1 Kevin O’Driscoll, 2 John Murphy, 3 Geoff Wycherley.
Three-furrow-Standard: 1 Kevin O’Riordan, 2 Matt Coakley, 3 Jason McCarthy, 4 John Keohane.
Reversible open: 1 Ger Coakley, 2 Liam O’Driscoll, 3 Michael Wycherley.
Reversible standard: 1 Padraig Walsh, 2 Dan Hurley; 3 Jerry Creedon.
Vintage (hydraulic): 1 John O’Neill, 2 Sean Ryan, 3 Maurice Sheehy, 4 Michael Coomey, 5 Michael Walsh, 6 Denis Cummins.
Vintage (trailer): 1 John Wolfe, 2 Michael Bennett, 3 Karl Wycherley.
Vintage (novice): 1 Leslie Wolfe, 2 Cian Harrington, 3 Paddy Holland, 4 Ite Winerfame. Vintage (single-furrow): Gordon Jennings.
Horse: John O’Donovan.
Under-age horse: Michael O’Donovan.
Loy demonstration: Aidan Grace.
Pictured at the 80th annual Timoleague ploughing match on Sunday were – above, from left – Anna May McHugh, managing director, National Ploughing Association; Tim Lawlor, John Leary, Michael O’Donovan with horses Paddy and Mick, Johnny O’Donovan Pat Donovan and John Sexton.