Obituary

Council tributes to former Tipperary ploughing champion

'The likes of him you won’t see again'

Tipperary Star reporter

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Council tributes to former Tipperary ploughing champion

The late John Slattery: 'The likes of him you won’t see again'

Tributes have been paid by Tipperary county councillors to the late John Slattery, a former national ploughing champion.

“He was decent, honourable and active in rural Ireland,” Cllr John Carroll told Nenagh Municipal District Council. “The likes of him you won’t see again.”

Cllr Ger Darcy described the late Mr Slattery as a “cool man and a great judge. he will be a big loss.”

Mr Slattery was described by Cllr Michael O’Meara as “the voice of reason at a meeting when things got under pressure.”

District cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Hannigan said Mr Slattery was an “iconic figure, a leader in the community”.

He said that when Mr Slattery spoke, everybody respected what he had to say.

“He was an outstanding member of the community and was active to the last,” said Cllr Hanigan.

Mr Slattery, Kilbiller, Coolbawn, Nenagh, passed away after a short illness and surrounded by his loving family.
He was husband of the late Sal and brother of the late Tommy (Coolbawn); Susan Ryan (Nenagh), and grandson Shane. Loving father of Sheila (Moran), Joe, Johnny, Dessie, Ciaran, Rachel (Malone), and Alan.

His passing was deeply regretted by his loving family, brothers Willie and Mick, sister Sighle (Dunne), daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchild, nephews, nieces and a large circle of neighbours, friends and ploughing colleagues.

He had attended the ploughing Christmas party night out less than two weeks before his death at the end of December and was out and about going about his normal everyday life right up to his sudden illness.

John Slattery has been a tremendous ambassador and a leader on the field, the one to beat and the one that was admired and looked up to in North Tipperary and will be sadly and sorely missed by all those involved in the North Tipperary Ploughing Association.

His son, Joe, told his fueral Mass that on April 21, 1962, Susan married John Ryan in a double wedding with John who married Sal Ryan.

John and Sal lived happily in the house that John’s father Joe had built for his family in Kilbiller from that day in 1962 until Sal’s death on 19 March 2009.

John, like the generations of Slatterys before and after him, was a farmer.

He loved good ploughing and was adamant that it was the secret to a good crop. This love of ploughing and machinery led him to competition ploughing - a past time which was to be a passion of John’s that spanned over 60 years.

In 1973 he showed how seriously he took ploughing with the purchase of a new Pierce match plough delivered by train with a full set of weights to Nenagh Railway Station for the sum of £212 and a new International 574 tractor, registration number SFI 209, bought from his brother Mick of Slattery’s Garage, Puckane.

As well as competing, John also judged ploughing all over Ireland, including judging and ploughing in the National Ploughing Championships in Tullow last September.

The highlights of his ploughing career were: ploughing in the World’s in England in 2000, winning the All-Ireland in Kilkenny in 2008, and being presented with a mirror by North Tipperary Ploughing in 2013 in recognition of 50 years ploughing in All-Irelands.

The North Tipperary Ploughing members escorted his remains to Kilbarron Church along with Shannon Rovers GAA club and again the following morning.

Anna May McHugh, managing director and secretary of the National Ploughing Championships, along with her daughter Anna Marie, assistant managing director and world secretary, and James Sutton, president of the National Ploughing Association, along with many representatives of county associations attended the funeral where John’s coffin was draped with the North Tipperary Ploughing Association flag.