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"Donegal should push for ploughing event"  29.09.08

INISHOWEN Councillor Pádraig MacLochlainn has called for a “strong and focused collective lobby” to bring the National Ploughing Championships to Donegal in the near future.
Cllr MacLochlainn, who attended the championships in Kilkenny last week with his Sinn Féin colleagues, said he understood Donegal was shortlisted to host the major event next year. However, the huge agricultural money-spinner has again been granted to the Midlands in 2009.
“One has to attend the National Ploughing Championship to truly understand its scale. Over 200,000 people attended this year's event over three days. It is an absolutely remarkable event that encapsulates all that is great about our farming families throughout the island," said Cllr MacLochlainn.
Cllr Pádraig MacLochlainn pictured at this year’s National Ploughing Championships with colleagues including Senator Pearse Doherty and MEPs, Mary Lou McDonald and Bairbre de Brún. “I understand Donegal was on the shortlist to host the 2009 National Ploughing Championship, which has now been granted to Athy, Co Kildare. While I congratulate the people of Athy and Kildare on their achievement, this event has already been hosted for 19 of the last 30 years in the Midlands counties.
"With the advances made by the peace process and the focus 
on all Ireland co-operation, Donegal would be an ideal location to attract farming communities in the province of Ulster, which has never hosted the championship since its inception in 1931."
The town and county councillor said he would be discussing the issue with his colleague, Northern Assembly Agriculture Minister Michelle Gidernew.
"I call on all political parties and farming organisations in this region to support my call. The next steps are for a central lobby group supported by Donegal County Council to make a logistical case, outlining potential sites in the county to back up the geographical and political arguments," he added.
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