independent

Sunday 21 September 2014

Sli Eile welcomes two plough horses

Published 10/10/2013 | 05:26

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THE era of the plough was recalled at the Sli Eile farm at Burton Park, Churchtown last Friday when Jim Cronin from Bridgetown, Co. Clare showed off his two French-bred Percheron plough horses, which he imported from the La Perche area, west of Paris some seven years ago.

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THE era of the plough was recalled at the Sli Eile farm at Burton Park, Churchtown last Friday when Jim Cronin from Bridgetown, Co. Clare showed off his two French-bred Percheron plough horses, which he imported from the La Perche area, west of Paris some seven years ago.

Jim, who works one and half acres of horticulture tillage of the 20 acres he farms in Co. Clare, is part of the programme to establish a horticultural unit at the farm along with farm manager John O'Riordan. He said that he will be with the project every Friday for the next year and bringing his two horses to Burton Park to plough a section of land is part of the programme.

"The horses, though powerful, are docile and work in unison and readily respond to commands. Along with ploughing the land the horses provide 15 tonnes of farm yard manure per horse per annum," said Jim.

Local man Paddy Joe O'Mahony, who has been associated with Burton Park for 25 years, recently competed in the Mayor of Churchtown contest and raised €3,500 which will go towards the purchase of the poly tunnel for the horticulture project. However, there is still a shortfall in the cost of providing the tunnel and fund raising is ongoing.

Earlier, a group of 11 volunteers from call centres in Limerick and Dublin's Telefonica 02 Group assisted in cleaning out a barn and adjacent sheds in readiness for the new project. Group leader Anne-Maria Fitzgerald said their company gives permission for staff members to participate in eight hours per year to do voluntary work for a charity and they were delighted to help out at Burton Park.

Ms Joan Hamilton, the founder of Sli Eile, praised the members of the group who had done a great deal of work in clearing out the barn and adjoining buildings. "They have done tremendous work and their input has advanced the project and we are now ready to install our poly-tunnel," she said.

The Sli Eile Farm Project was jointly launched by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch and the organisation's patron film star Jeremy Irons at Burton Park, Churchtown, some seven miles south-west of Charleville town in May of this year.

Sli Eile is the organisation founded by Ms Joan Hamilton of Dromina, Charleville in 2001 to help people find an alternative way to recovery from mental health issues. The aim of the Sli Eile Farm (SEF) is to provide an evidenced-based social model breaking down prejudice and stigma through inter-action with the wider community.

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