TO TURN FOR CHARITY IN ARDGLASS
Listooder & District Ploughing Society, proudly supported by JL Engineering, hosted their 127th annual ploughing match as a charity event in Ardglass on Saturday 18th February on the Crew Road, Ardglass. All proceeds raised from the event was donated to Friends of the Cancer Centre, a registered charity who have provided support for Society member, Andrew Gill, during his recent treatment after being diagnosed for leukaemia. Top competitors from across Northern Ireland travelled to compete at the match which included Young Farmers Clubs competitions.
A phenomenal £8,300 for local charity Friends of the Cancer Centre, from their recent ploughing match.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Andrew’s grandfather and Society Chairman, Martin Gill said “As one of the oldest ploughing societies in the world, we are delighted this year, our 127th annual ploughing match, that all proceeds will be donated to Friends of the Cancer Centre – a charity who has been a huge support to Andrew throughout his treatment and to many others who others who have cancer. We are indebted to Mr Cultra for the use of his land for the match and for competitors and visitors who came to Ardglass which made our match a huge success.”
Andrew Gill, 24, Assistant Secretary of Listooder Ploughing Society, was diagnosed last year with acute myeloid leukaemia. Andrew is one of the top young ploughmen in Northern Ireland being crowned the national Under 25 champion in 2014, was runner-up in the Under 28 class at the All-Ireland ploughing championships and finished in the Silver medal position at the 2015 6 Nations Ploughing Contest in Scotland. Andrew has been discussing his journey for the past 8 months “In June 2016, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia which is cancer of the blood leaving me to require four-six week sessions of intensive chemotherapy in Belfast City Hospital. The effects of my journey through every session were very different. Some days were more challenging than others, from feeling exhausted, sick, to being very prone to taking temperatures or infections due to having a low immune system which once, near the end of my treatment lead me needing to be moved to intensive care. Throughout my treatment though, I made lots of friends and had some great experiences which I will always remember. While undergoing my treatment, I was keen to get to the world ploughing championships in York, England last September and it was between my sessions I was fit to travel but as planes and boats were too risky for me due to the likelihood of picking up infections, we organised a helicopter to take my family and I over for the day. Throughout my treatment, my family and I have been offered great support from the Friends of the Cancer Centre. Their staff would visit me regularly and brought me a TV, DVD player, PS4 and even a dart board up to the ward to help me cope with the long days.” Andrew was able to spend Christmas at home and attended the match in Ardglass.
Andrew started ploughing at only 13 years of age, firstly in the Young Farmers class and then qualifying for the top conventional class. “I enjoy all aspects of ploughing from competing at local matches, the national ploughing championships and representing my country at the Irish Championships and 5 nations contest in 2015. I hope to be back ploughing soon and it would be a dream to be successful and compete at the World Ploughing Contest and become another World Champion from Northern Ireland.”
Ardglass resident, and Society member, Danny Lenaghan has been instrumental bringing the event to the Ardglass area. “As soon as I knew Listooder wanted to hold a match to raise funds for Friends of the Cancer Centre, having had family who have benefited from the support of the charity in the past, I was keen to get involved and help with organising. My nephew, and neighbour, Colm Cultra had a perfect site and was quick to agree to host the match. We were delighted to welcome competitors and visitors from across the province to Ardglass for what was a great day.”
Society President, Mr Dai Kennedy, said “All proceeds raised from our match was donated to Friends of the Cancer Centre which is based at the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, and is one of the leading cancer charities in Northern Ireland working to support cancer patients and their families through key projects in the areas of clinical care, patients comforts and research. Thank you to everyone who donated - from competitors collecting sponsorship, local businesses keen to get involved, fellow Ploughing Socities making donations and the many spectators who donated and bought items at our auction."
Fundraising officer for Friends of the Cancer Centre, Sarah Breen, said:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Listooder and District Ploughing Society for choosing to raise funds for our charity in support of Andrew. The Gill family have been fantastic supporters of the charity and have raised a phenomenal amount of money for our charity. I would like to thank the Gill family and everyone who has continued to support them in their fundraising. The money raised will make a very big difference to the lives of patients and their families right across Northern Ireland.”
2017 Match Photos
Click HERE to watch a video of 2017 Listooder Ploughing Society match - video courtesy of Stuart Dubois Photography.
2016 Match in Crossgar
2016 Contest Photos