ALL-IRELAND GLORY FOR KING OF THE SCYTHE
The swish of the scythe brought All Ireland glory to Ballybeg, Mitchelstown last weekend, when John Mullins captured the title for his skill in hay cutting at the Trim Haymaking Festival.
John, a very well known member of the agricultural community in the area, had come close with second and third placed finishes on past occasions at the festival. This time, however, the Mitchelstown man came out on top and got a beautiful trophy and the All Ireland title for his efforts last Sunday.
John has been competing at the haymaking festival for six years and this time got the better of the Clare contestant who had won the title for three years in a row. This week he told The Avondhu, “It was very tight, neck and neck and it looked for a while as if we might have to mow an extra plot to decide the contest”.
“I keep my hand in by cutting a swathe or two in the orchard in places where the machinery can’t reach. It gives me a bit of practise and keeps my touch in. Having the right edge up on the scythe is vital”.
“I find that the Cranin (a honing device made from old files) is the best job for edging a scythe”, John continued.
A former member of the local Macra Na Feirme branch in Mitchelstown with whom he featured on RTE’s ‘Telefis Feirme’ when the late Justin Keating presented the programme in the 1960s, John Mullins was interviewed about his hay cutting exploits on Morning Ireland on Monday last.
His son, Pat Mullins, is also adroit with the scythe and John is hoping that he too will one day bring home the All Ireland to Mitchelstown.
“It was surprising all the young people that competed in Trim. Hay cutting with a scythe may be a dying art but there’s still quite an interest in it,” John concluded.
Then he was off again, scythe over his shoulder, to cut ‘ a bit at the corners’ of a silage field that was ready for mowing.
Friday 26th June 7:01pm