The National Ploughing Association (NPA) has payed tribute to Pat McKeown from Co. Louth, one of its council members, who has passed away.
Pat had been the NPA vice-president, as well as the director and chairperson of the Louth branch of the association.
In a statement this afternoon (Monday, April 19), the association said: “The NPA would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and loved ones of ploughing’s Pat McKeown from Co. Louth”.
The NPA said that he “will always be remembered with the highest affection and regard, not only in the ‘ploughing’ community here in Ireland but also around the world”.
The statement went on to describe his long-standing relationship with the NPA, saying: “Pat was one of the longest-serving and most respected members of the National Ploughing Association Council.
“He was highly regarded as NPA vice-president for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the association and as both the Louth NPA director and chairman,” it added.
The NPA said he was a “truly talented and great ploughman”.
He won four All-Ireland titles, and represented Ireland as a competitor at the world Ploughing Contest in Denmark in 1970, at just 26 years of age.
Pat passed on the ploughing tradition to his family, who also all compete at a national level.
As well as competing in the field, he also represented Ireland as a judge at the World Ploughing Contest a total of four times – in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“Pat was extremely proud of Irish ploughing and travelled to many different countries around the globe to support Irish teams competing at the world contest,” the statement added.
It concluded: “Pat will be deeply missed and remembered by all as one of the Ireland’s true gentlemen. May he rest in peace.”