20 September 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

THE fifth annual ‘Active8’ Bog Snorkelling Championships which were staged last weekend in conjunction with a major festival at Alices’ Loft and Cottages at Doohamlet outside Blayney were a huge success and attracted contenders and revelers from all over the Ireland as well as from the UK, Switzerland and Germany.

While all the winners of the various events were Irish, it was noteworthy that two of the junior contenders who chalked up record speed swims with snorkels in the mud were young stars from Co. Monaghan—Ronan Merrick and Orlaith McGuire, both from Castleblayney.

The major senior championship winners were Will Martin from Kildare, and Ruth McDonagh from Dublin.
Martin scored with a speed of 2.29 mins, while McDonagh completed her swim in 2.17 mins.

MORE than 300 festival fans were entertained on Friday night at an open-air gig at which performances were given by Facelift , Gunrunner, and Brown Notes—three leading music groups.

Saturday’ s main event attracted some 48 competitors with 600 spectators throughout the day .
The crowds were also entertained by an 80- foot mud-slide and the relatively new attraction, zorbing.
Dubliner Johnny Mullen won the “Monaghan Bogger Award” for competing in a Leprechaun outfit!
This year’s event included the first weekend festival in conjunction with the championships, thanks to their main sponsor Activ8 Solar Energies, which is based at Carrickmacross.

The main event concluded on Saturday at Watters Old Coach Inn, York Street, Blayney, where local publican Raymond Watters, also a key sponsor for the fifth year, was host. A very enjoyable musical programme was presented by Ronnie and the Reptiles.

Key organizer of the event, Declan Connolly has expressed thanks to all the sponsors for their support, including Ronan O’ Brien, Solicitor; Castleblayney Plant Hire; Heineken Ireland; McArdles’ Office S; and D. Connolly, plant contractor .

This year’s charity was Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin for whom the event raised a donation of €1,500.

“It is a very worthy cause and we are deeply grateful to everyone for their support, ” Mr. Connolly added.

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