Contestants in action 1

The 10th Annual Irish conker championships was held in Freshford on bank holiday weekend 28th and 29th of October. Drawing in many competitors and spectators each year this year was no different.

The event is held on the village green in freshford and is supported by a team of 60 helpers who both construct the tents and the conker arena and practice areas, not to mention judging the conker games.

Selecting the conkers

Both local schools and helpers collect many hundreds of conkers in the weeks before the competition each year and help select the best conkers to be used. The strings used for all the conkers are donated by Rossiters shoe repairs on the butter slip, Kilkenny. No competitor knows or sees which conker they will get until they make a selection before their match.

All competitors pay to enter and must make good use at the practice area before they enter the main arena for their actual match. The competition is split into age groups from under twelve’s to adult.

The prize for the adult winner this year was 500 euro’s and was won by Aileen Dooley, the under twelve’s winner was Jude Mc kinley.

Winner aileen dooley 1

Aileen Dooley in action

The tents contained areas for craft stalls, local food producers and a refreshments area along with a marquee used for music events during the weekend.

Music tent 1

Music in the main marquee

The craft tent included crafts people selling clothes, wooden ornaments and garden furniture . One stand was run by two transition year students Kieran power and Darren Walsh, who have setup a company making ornaments out of slate. These included mirrors and garden sculptures.

craft tent 1

This was a great weekend event and one well work the visit, it keeps on growing each year and if you didn’t make it this year then keep it in mind for October 2010.