25 Sept 2022

Renowned journalist launches book about National Ploughing Championships


Renowned journalist launches book about National Ploughing Championships

Renowned journalist launches book about National Ploughing Championships

Ahead of the 2017 National Ploughing Championships, acclaimed journalist Valerie Cox has launched a new book that journeys into the heart of rural Ireland, centred upon the 'Ploughing.'

Through words and images, from the 1930s to today, Valerie takes the readers behind the scenes to meet the characters behind the Ploughing Championships, past and present.

Witness the traditions and stories from a changing way of life, where community spirit remains central, and the plough keeps turning the sod, year on year.

Since the early 1930s, The National Ploughing Championships has occupied a special place in the heart of rural Irish life, when people gather from every corner of the country to show off their skills and engage in sport, fun and business.

This year, over 280,000 people are venturing to Offaly to experience the latest installment of the largest outdoor event in Europe.

Here, in this book, entitled, 'A Ploughing People,' for the first time, the magic of the Ploughing is captured in word and image. 

Valerie Cox journeys around Ireland to meet the people who make this national institution great, and record the stories of what the ploughing means to them, whether it's vintage tractors, a pair of Clydesdales or a plough handed down from a grandfather.

Among others, she meets three-time world champion Martin Keogh, takes an unforgettable trip to Thady Kelleher country in East Cork, and is enchanted by the first even Queen of the Plough Anna Mai Donegan, who won her crown in 1955.

The story of the ploughing here is in good hands as Valerie Cox has enjoyed a long career as a reporter working in newspapers, radio and television. She has interviewed people from every county in Ireland, and during more than eleven years working on the Today programme on RTÉ Radio 1, she travelled around the country covering stories such as the closure of schools, Garda stations and post offices. 

You can find out more about the book by clicking here

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via email to, or through our Facebook.

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