Wexford Racecourse is the location for the 1987 European Tug Of War Championships.
Visitors to the event who might think tug of war is a low key children's game are in for a surprise. Teams from 13 countries compete over four days in three classes.
Having already won the lightweight competition, Ireland then took the medium weight title. A large number of the teams comprise of men from Killylough in County Monaghan, and Boley in County Wexford.
Tom Elmore, Chairman of the Tug Of War Association, explains what the winning factor is,
It’s not brawn, it’s technique, it’s hard training, it’s dedication and it’s good coaching...These guys would be training three nights a week coming up to the championship, and at least two competitions at the weekend, and they would be on special diets, and eating good wholesome food.
In their tent, men were being prepared to represent Ireland in the heavyweight 720kg competition. Bodies oiled, hands smeared with rosin, and a finishing coat of powder. Their kit is deceptively ordinary,
The standard gear stout, steel-heeled boots, a waist belt, and a heck of a lot of determination.
In their first round, they came up against the Welsh National Team, and won their match. But later the Welsh had their revenge, and beat Ireland into second place. The net result of the whole four day competition: Ireland took 2 of the 3 gold medals, and one silver.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 September 1987. The reporter is Michael Ryan.