The Ray D’Arcy Show has been exploring Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands all this week and today Ray stumbled upon a pretty unique competition which takes place in Drumshambo, Co Leitrim every year.
The Stylish Silage competition is part of the An Tóstal Festival, which Drumshambo has run since 1953. The rules are pretty simple: you get your hay bales, decorate them and set them up for the judges to deliberate over. This year saw 72 entries, up on 50 from last year. And it’s fair to say the standard was high.
Ray spoke to Hugh James Gallagher, one of the competition organisers, about the “friendly rivalry” it brings out.
“People are helping each other but they’re still watching each other. There was bales done up at night. There was bales done up in garages. There was bales pushed off an hour before judging.”
But it’s all in good fun and everyone wants the same thing.
“The lot of Drumshanbo came together, stood as one to promote Drumshanbo.”
And before you ask, don’t worry, none of the hay bales used in the competition will be going to waste.
“Every bale is going to be returned to the farmer at the end of July. There’s no bale assaulted or abused or anything. When the cows are eating them next January, little will they know that these bales were shown on national media and there’s people from over the country coming to see them.”
Listen back to the full interview on The Ray D’Arcy Show here.
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