The Threshing men and women of Coon in North Kilkenny

This is about making bonds and friendships

Sean Keane


Sean Keane


Iconic shot by Harry Reid

Front: Eddie Walsh, Noel Doyle and Michael Somers. Back: Ger Doyle, John Walsh, Frddie Booth, Diarmuid Murtagh, Willie Lawlor, Jim Doyle, Ger Walsh, John Doyle, Matthew Shortall and Pat Doyle PIC:

The child of Prague was obviously on over time. Between hurricanes and heavy shows the sun rays shone down on the people of Coon for their threshing cancer event. The essence of the event is community. Threshing was the most important time of year. Bringing together people for the harvest. While the methods of harvesting have changed. The message was clear communities still need to come together.

Seeing things in operation like they were in the olden days is what Noel Doyle wished for. It is, he believes, the best way to understand history and this passion for the traditional ways led the Coon man to set up the annual threshing. Last year it was as a memorial to our parents. This year it was for the community. Remembering those affected by it. And doing something ever so small to raise funds and awareness. Our area has been hit hard by cancer in the last number of years. Cois Noir is a local charity. To help families it needs help. . We were delighted to have mayor Martin Brett on board.

Michael Somers, Teagasc, introduced the event and said that this year they were threshing oats. He made note 100 years ago 10% of the land mass of Ireland was oats and used predominately for animal feed.  During the second war compulsory tillage was practiced and he noted that the Castlecomer plateau was the highest area in Ireland where cereals were grown. This event is about communities. “I don’t believe in loud music or massive attractions at things like this. This is about taking to your neighbors and strangers alike and making bonds and friendships. It’s about community.  

Michael also remembered all people passed away from the disease in the area and connected to the area. Mayor Martin Brett, thanked the committee. Communities together can work with families to help cancer victims, survivors and their families.           

Lorraine o’Brien said we are delighted with the reaction. We have been busy from 1 to 7. With people coming in and talking. We will be having another event around Christmas .