Waterford woman ready to rake it in at silage event

Co. Waterford woman, Paula Hogan, is ready to rake it in – silage, that is. For she is poised to be part of the all-female crew at the silage event in Mount Melleray Abbey, on Saturday, August 19, from 10:30am.

Although not from a farming background, she grew up in a rural area – Aglish – and her dad taught her to drive a tractor.

“I was a bit of a tomboy growing up, and hung around with farmers. I knew when I settled down, that it would be in the country,” she said.

Married to agricultural contractor, Barry Hogan, with two sons, five-and-a-half year-old Sean, and four-year-old Cathal, she now lives outside Tallow, Co. Waterford.

Her husband’s trusty New Holland is at the ready for the silage spectacular. “It was his idea that I take part. We were sitting down one morning, and I remarked that my cousin, Edna Roche, and another woman I know, were taking part in the silage event.

“Barry told me I should take part too. I said it was years since I had driven a tractor, and he replied that anyone could do it. I’m wondering now if he was trying to recruit me to help him out with his work,” laughed Hogan, who looks after the contracting accounts.

Having previously worked in accounts, she is currently a stay-at-home mum, who has studied beauty therapy. “I like hair and make-up, so people often tell me they can’t imagine me driving a tractor.

I’m fairly at ease on a tractor, but taking part in the silage event has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

“I’m doing a good bit of practice, with Barry’s help. If he has had a field of silage that needs to be raked, he has let me off to do it.

“My sons are getting a great kick out of it – they eat, sleep and drink tractors. I know a good few of the other women taking part in the all-female silage crew on the day, including my cousin, Edna Roche, and Sr Lily Scullion, from St Mary’s Abbey, Glencairn. Sisters are really doing it for themselves.

“The response to the event has been brilliant. People are intrigued with the idea of an all-female crew that hopes to set a Guinness world record. Some people have said to me: ‘Fair play, I wouldn’t do it,’ but they probably would.

“I’m a slight bit nervous as I get ready to rake at the event, but am really looking forward to it. It’s going to be great,” said Hogan, who plays gaelic football with Knockanore Shamrocks’ Mothers and Others team.

John O’Brien – who is behind the silage event – said the day was shaping up to be “very unusual” with nurses, a doctor, a nun and a Garda among the all-female teams taking part. “I’m only short a lady minister,” he laughed.

“It will be a first, with all these women, of different age groups and backgrounds, working together. Nobody has ever done this before. I’m proud of all these women and what they stand for.”

There will also be a truck show and entertainment on the day. Proceeds will go to the Alzheimers’ Society of Ireland.