The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - BY STEPHEN FERNANE

THE soil never stood a chance at Cof­fey’s farm in Fossa on Sun­day af­ter­noon as the Kil­lar­ney Plough­ing As­so­ci­a­tion held its sec­ond points com­pe­ti­tion since 1963. The Kil­lar­ney club was re­vived in 2017, and Sun­day’s ac­tion saw 20 peo­ple put their skills to the test.

Horse-drawn ploughs are a rare sight these days, and they made a spec­tac­u­lar sight as fur­rows were worked with care against the back­drop of Lough Leane and Tomies Mountain. North Kerry’s Moss Trant is the only man in the county with a team of horses, and this tra­di­tion was wel­comed by all on the day.

Sligo na­tive Col­man Col­gan won’t be fa­mil­iar to most Kerry peo­ple, but he has set him­self a unique goal, the task of plough­ing in all 32 coun­ties. Sun­day’s event means he now only has Cork left on his list.

“That was a nice ad­di­tion to the day. Col­man is hop­ing to plough in Cork in the spring,” said Kil­lar­ney Plough­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Chair­man Thomas Whar­ton.

Plough­ing has a long his­tory in the Kil­lar­ney and south Kerry re­gion. But tra­di­tion only is no guar­an­tee of suc­cess.

The de­ci­sion to re­vive plough­ing has gen­er­ated huge in­ter­est in the sport, and Thomas would like to see some form of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for young peo­ple start­ing off plough­ing as the cost is cer­tainly the big­gest ob­sta­cle.

“This is def­i­nitely some­thing that should be ex­plored. Days like last Sun­day are good for Kerry plough­ing. The stan­dard in the county has im­proved in the last few years. In 2017 we had two from the Kil­lar­ney club com­pet­ing in the Na­tional Plough­ing Cham­pi­onships,” Thomas added.

There are six clubs in to­tal in Kerry.

Plough­ing en­thu­si­asts from Abbey­dor­ney, Ard­fert, Bally­bunion, Bal­ly­heigue and Cause­way also made their mark on the day.

Pho­tos by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van.

Broth­ers Thomas (left) and Tony Whar­ton com­pet­ing in the Kil­lar­ney Plough­ing As­so­ci­a­tion points com­pe­ti­tion. IN­SET: Michael Les­lie, Kil­lar­ney.

Pho­tos by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

Plough­ing his own fur­row: Col­man Col­gan from Sligo set his own goal of plough­ing a field in ev­ery county in Ire­land. Af­ter Kerry, Cole­man has only one more field to plough, in County Cork. The jour­ney has taken him three years. He com­peted in the Kil­lar­ney Plough­ing As­so­ci­a­tion points com­pe­ti­tion,on the grounds of Cof­fey’s Farm, Fossa, Kil­lar­ney, on Sun­day.

Donie Murhill, left, chat­ting with Danny O’Leary, Kil­lar­ney Plough­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent

Thomas Whar­ton, Chair­man, chat­ting with Dr Donal Cof­fey, on whose land the com­pe­ti­tion was held.

Tom Les­lie from Faha.

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