Monday, October 02, 2006

On the muddy trail-Ag treabhadh linn

My first visit to the ploughing championships in Tullow last Thursday was some experience. This is without doubt one of the best organised and most impressive events in Irish life. Coming from a farming background, and having lived in rural Ireland for most of my life, I was aware that the Championships are now a fundamental part of rural life. Huge credit for this belongs to a certain Anna May McHugh, the Laois woman who is surely one of Ireland's most suiccessful and formidable women of the past thirty years.

For my own part, I proposed in 1995 that the Labour Party take a stand at the ploughing championships. Finally after 12 years we are there at last. The coverage that Pat Rabbitte received was phenomenal for the day that was in it. The fact that Taoiseach Ahern chose to give a waffly interview in Ballyjamesduff (Pat reckoned he was looking for another Paddy Reilly there!), and that Michael McDowell called on Ahern to answer serious questions about the Manchester after-dinner 8 grand speech, all made Pat and Enda Kenny the centre of attention. The media followed every word that Pat and Enda said in Tullow (or Grange to be exact), and for those of us lucky enough to be part of the entourage for the day, it made for excitement we didn't expect. It started for myself, Michael O' Brien and Jim Townsend, our local candidates with an interview with KCLR radio on Sue Nunn's morning programme. Later, as you;ll see here, Clara Walsh of the KCLR news team got the major intervies with Pat in which Pat cranked up the pressure on the PD's, leading to McDowell's later statement.

For us locally of course, it was vital to get local candidates Jim Townsend and Michael O' Brien to meet as many local voters as possible. The lads did this successfully, as well as getting thier faces on all the national news programmes by Pat's side, including on the Six One news, where Pat was interviewed live by the lovely Sharon Ni Bheoláin. All round, a great day with all that we wanted to achieve. Hopefully the first of many trips to the championships and one of many great days on the stomp before Michael or Jim become the TD for Carlow/Kilkenny. Well done also to party staff Liam Cahill, George Cummins and Shauneen Armstrong who did a great job in keeping the show on the road, and more importantly to local members John McGillicuddy, Brian Harris, Michael Joyce, Des Hurley and our neighbour Aoife Breslin, the mayor of Athy, and an old friend who knows me far too well for my liking!, who worked so hard on the party stand on the day.
World Ploughing Championships,  Tullow, County Carlow


Councillor Seamus Ryan said...

Well Sean you look really at home at the ploughing championships. Well done on the stand.

seankk said...

Great to be back in the muck again Séamus. Hope all's well in Déise land.You heading to the blogging conference at the weekend?