Press Release

‘Bulbs’ a poem by Tipperary born teacher, Paddy Moran, has been voted as the favourite poem of the farming community at the Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co Laois ahead of works by both Patrick Kavanagh and Seamus Heaney.

During the summer people from all over the country had been invited to enter their favourite work of poetry about ploughing and the land into a competition organised by Kildare and Leighlin Diocese. Over a thousand entries were submitted and these were shortlisted before the Ploughing Championships. The six most nominated poems were placed on display at the Kildare & Leighlin Diocesan Stand where visitors were asked to vote for their favourite. Over three thousand people cast their votes over the three days of the Championships.

Bishop Denis Nulty announced the winner at 2:30 this afternoon. He said ‘I am bowled over at the response to this competition and by the amount of entries received. I am surprised that a living poet was the people’s favourite and the runner up was also a living poet, the only woman in the competition, Verona Pentony from Co Dublin whose poem, The Farmer, came a very close second.’.
Reacting to his win he said that ‘he was thrilled considering the quality of the others on the short list. I have great time for the work of Séamus Heaney in particular and I was flattered to even make the short list. I would like to thank everyone who nominated and voted for me. Mr Moran is 65 and a retired teacher of English from Templetouhy. He has a third collection of poetry being launched next month.

The other poems shortlisted were Digging and The Follower by Seamus Heaney; I will go with my Father a Ploughing by Joseph Campbell and The Man after the Harrow by Patrick Kavanagh.
Two prizes were awarded to those who submitted poems to the competition.

Our Competition Winners

The winner from all those who submitted a poem is Liam Ó Murchú

The winner from those who submitted the winning poem is James Moran.

Both winners receive €250 of worth of product from BLF Nutrition, Tullow, Co Carlow

Contact Maeve Mahon at 087 2373336 or [email protected] for further details on the competition and the poems submitted


It was (I dreamt) years from now.
My father had long since died, and memories
of him, so vivid once, were fading:
the man whose deft touch could rouse
a sluggish fire; whose fingers knew
the inner workings of clocks and watches;
but most, the inveterate sower of seed,
so indulgent he’d let stray lettuces
or spuds flourish in a drill of carrots;
who, even when stooped with age, could still wonder:
Where do all the weeds come out of?
This stubborn man whose gifts I didn’t have,
whose paths I wouldn’t follow.
So there I was, standing
on a neglected patch of ground,
not knowing why: Instinct? The lengthening
evenings? A bird’s lingering notes?
Or my wife’s incessant pleading?
And I didn’t seem to know what to set:
Flowers? Shrubs? Organic vegetables?
I was just getting down to work,
turning scraws over with the shovel,
when I came on them, snug as landmines: bulbs
he’d planted years before, still waiting there…
Innocent, helpless, strangely eloquent.
Patrick Moran

Poems entered by individuals submitting their own poems

Why are the fields so Green and Gold Deirdre Mcnamee

The Wonders Of The World Jerry Cronin

The Hay Day Liam O Murchu

The Farmer Anne Holton

The Broken Ground Peter McNamara

Scent of the Soil by Pat Lambert

My Farming Days Charlie Byrne