GALWAY will have a total of 16 competitors taking part in next week’s National Ploughing Championships with two participants set to defend their All-Ireland titles.
Aidan Higgins from Castlelambert, Athenry will be defending his under-28 title in the Conventional Plough Class while Gerry Reilly from Cloon, Claregalway will be putting his title on the line in the Senior Horse Plough Class.
The county will have three competitors in the Loy Digging class – Thomas Cunningham from Carnagopple, Mountbellew; John Whyte from Cloonascragh, Lavally and in the Ladies Section, Mary O’Donnell from Gorthacochree, Moycullen.
Galway’s other 11 competitors in the competiton are: Michael Buckley, Athenry (Novice 2 Furrow Conventional); Michael Burke, Athenry (Under-21 Conventional); Michael Burke, Moycullen (Special Horse); Eamonn Burke, Corrandulla (Intermediate Conventional); Maura Canning, Mullagh (Farmerette Conventional); Gerry Egan, Kilconnell (3 Furrow Conventional); Joe Fahy, Corrandulla (Senior Horse); Pat Higgins, Athenry (Senior Conventional); Joe Kelly, Monivea (Vintage 2 Furrow Mounted); James Kilgarriff, Headford (Special Horse) and Des Murphy, Claregalway (Junior Conventional).
According to Maura Canning, Assistant-Secretary of the Co. Galway Ploughing Association, it has been a difficult practising week for competitors due to the very soft ground conditions.
Maura, who will be making her debut, in the Farmerette Conventional Class, said that the weather conditions last week, and over the weekend, ruled out any practice sessions.
“I suppose that we’re all hoping for an improvement in the weather over the coming days but one way or another, we’ve a strong team taking part and we’re all looking forward to it.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.