Toiling in the winter sun

Scenes that could have been straight from rural life of the 1800s were enjoyed no end by the crowds that attended the Ballyheigue Ploughing on Sunday as ploughman Moss Trant directed his team of horses with hardwon skill during the day's competitions.

Moss emerged the winner of the horse category at the ploughing match, one of a number of top ploughing talents to take victory in the day's contests.

"We were very happy with the day and the fine weather we had for it," secretary of the Ballyheigue Ploughing Association John P Corridon told The Kerryman.

"We had a good turnout with nine competitions in all in a display of skill that shows the ploughing tradition is as strong as ever in the county," John added.

Farmers from across the county took part in the competitions with the winners as follows:

Michael Donegan in the under-28; Thomas O'Carroll in the Macra category; Philip Healy in the senior tractor; Maurice Quill in the novice; Colm Dineen in the three-furrow; Shane Godley in the under-21; Michael O'Halloran in the reversible competition; Aeneas Horan in the vintage and Moss Trant in the horse, as mentioned.

They and their fellow competitors showed exactly how it's done maintaining impressive furrow lines while controlling motor and beast-of-burden engines on the Ballyheigue fields.

The ploughers of the county are now looking forward to the New Year with both Causeway and Ballyduff matches to be held in the Spring - leading on as ever to the excitement of the National Ploughing Championships at which Kerry is so well represented every year; by the likes of the aforementioned talents amid whose number are All-Ireland titles.