independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

A sharp chill at the cutting edge

AN elderly man approaches a younger man selling wooly caps at a stall and eagerly asks: "How much are they?"

He's told "€8", and he immediately asks for two.

If the vendor had sought €18 a pop he'd probably still have struck a deal, such was the biting cold in the Abbyeydorney air on Sunday as the local ploughing association got the season off to the perfect start.

With trendy young girls shivering in groups cursing their inappropriate wardrobe decisions, to toddlers wrapped up in hats, scarves and body suits, it certainly wasn't a day for standing around chatting. However, the severe chill failed to deter locals and visitors alike from turning out in their hundreds for the annual event.

As spectators huddled around the chip wagons and soup vendors hoping to warm themselves, the competitors had no choice but to brave the elements for the important business.

In what was again a closely contested match, Abbeydorney welcomed two All-Ireland ploughing champions to the competition - Aeneas Horan from Castleisland and Mikey O'Halloran from Ballyheigue - both of whom took honours in their classes.

Question marks had been raised as late as Friday as to whether the event would go ahead, given the rainfall in the days prior, but as many a local proudly boasted on Sunday, it was ' the fine land' in Abbeydorney that made it all possible.

In addition to the main competitions themselves, visitors enjoyed a great family spectacle, with a host of stalls and side shows, including threshing, modern and vintage machinery displays, wood turning, a display of sheep, antiques, country market, bouncy castle and a dog show.

Two people who went home extremely happy on Sunday afternoon were local man John Sexton from Aulane, and Bridget O'Shea from Leam, Kilflynn, who were voted most appropriately dressed lady and gent on the day.

Afterwards, organisers paid tribute to the competitors and visitors, landowner Maurice Corridon, stewards and sponsors who continue to make the event the success it is.

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