Preparing for the All Ireland Turf Cutting Championships in Meedin bog in County Westmeath.

In spite of new technology, traditional methods of turf cutting are tried and trusted and will take a long time to die out.

It is back breaking work, the kind that few town dwellers would be able for.

Good weather is needed to work on the bog. And it is good weather they are hoping for at Meedin bog, outside Tyrrellspass in County Westmeath, as they prepare to host the All Ireland Turf Cutting Championships on 4 July 1982.

Mark Gavin is one of the event's organisers and he explains the rules governing the All Ireland Turf Cutting Championships.

The first turf cutting competition took place at The Downs, Mullingar in County Westmeath on 20 May 1936. The event was presided over by Minister for Defence Frank Aiken and was won by Tom Daly. Larry Caffrey attended the 1936 event as a boy and has donated the trophy for the 1982 All-Ireland Turf Cutting Championships.

Paddy Gavin demonstrates the wing sleán turf cutter which has been used since the 1936 competition. Turf cutting is an art and Paddy Gavin has no time for the turf cut by modern machinery,

Oh you couldn’t compare the turf at all, turf cut with this sleán here is far superior.

The owners of Meedin bog are considering what to do with the turf cut during the competition,

There’s talk about them donating it to a worthy charity.

Out of the 26 turf cutting teams participating in the All-Ireland Turf Cutting Championships, the winners were John Ennis's team which included his brother Joe and Denis Kelly from Tyrrellspass. Liam Caffrey presented them with the trophy and a cheque for £100 at a dance held in Whelehans, Rochfortbridge in County Westmeath.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 25 June 1982. The reporter is Peter McNiff.

The track accompanying this clip is 'The Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)’ by The Wurzels.