PLOUGHING: Hugh and Kathleen Barr. Hugh was 28 when he won his first World Ploughing title in Killarney.
By Sean Moriarty
The man who won the second ever World Ploughing Championships held in Killarney in 1954 will return to the town today (Saturday) for the unveiling of a special peace cairn to commemorate the event.
Hugh Barr won the world titles in Killarney in 1954, Sweden in 1955, and England in 1956. Rules at the time decreed that a three-time winner was no longer eligible for the competition.
Canada hosted the first world event in 1953. A peace cairn is always erected by the host nation at the time of each competition, but for various reasons this was overlooked at the time by the Killarney organisers.
A group of local enthusiasts, with help from both the national and world ploughing federations, will correct that oversight by unveiling a peace cairn on Mission Road today at 4pm, and Hugh Barr will be there to witness it.
“There is no cairn in Killarney, there is one every other place and I am glad to see it happen now,” Mr Barr told the Killarney Advertiser. “I am 93 years of age. I don’t take up too many invitations but I am going to this. I went down some years ago with my wife and one of my daughters and we could not find any of the fields I ploughed in 1954.”
The managing director of the National Ploughing Association, Anna May McHugh, was appointed as an honorary board member of the World Ploughing Organisation last September.
The 84-year-old will also be in Killarney this weekend.
“I remember meeting Anna May in 1954,” added Barr. “She was introduced to ploughing at that event I won in 1954. She is still running a big business now and she is a wonderful person. I looking forward to seeing her too.”