by Abbeyleix Fionn – Irishtown Diana (1980 – 2009).
Bred by Emer Fitzpatrick in Irishtown, Westmeath, Irishtown Beauty lived with the Sweeney family in Bunowen, Ballyconneely Co. Galway for sixteen years before she passsed away quietly in her field in February ’09.
Noel remembers that his father Sean kept about seven working ponies and mares on the farm- either for road work with the County Council, or for carting seaweed from the shore for the land, and kelp to the pier at Bunowen for transport to Scotland, as well as saving hay, taking turf from the bog and ploughing the small fields or gairdíns. Noel Sweeney continues the pony tradition and refers to his late lamented multiple prize-winning Irishtown Beauty as being of such a calm and laid-back temperament that you could almost bring her into the house to feed and bath her.! She travelled to Clifden quite often up to 2005 and she won her mare class nearly every time shown, about six mare Classes in all
Noel tells how she knew on the morning of a Show that she was going to be on display, calmly walking on her own up the ramp and loading herself into the open trailer for her day out. Once arrived at the showgrounds Beauty stepped out like the prize pony she was, presence personified, to parade around the ring with arched neck and head held proudly to accept yet another trophy for the Sweeney family. Irishtown Beauty’s breeding went back to some of the well-known bloodlines in Connemara, Finola of Leam, The Admiral, Wise Sparrow and with Carna Bobby on both her sire’s and dam’s sides, with thoroughbred blood in from the likes of part-breds Hillside Sylvia and Cashel Kate added to the mix. She was backed for riding but breeding was her main job and many of her ten progeny are showring winners or have been sold abroad. Her record of Showing successes reads like a long litany.
They included the Supreme Championships at Galway County in ‘97 and later in that year she continued her winning ways in Dublin to take her mare Class and the RDS Supreme Connemara Championship. The Claddaghduff Championship came her way twice: at Roundfort and Corrandulla in ‘05 she scored again and carried off a Ballyconneely hat-trick by taking the top honours there three times.
Progeny Irishtown Beauty took the newly introduced Progeny Class in Clifden in 2004, flanked by a son and daughter, Clonberne Boy and Derrygimbla Beauty ( Ard Conneely)
Another daughter Errismore Beauty (Village Boy) has a good track record, having taken the yearling filly Class in Clifden, and won mare classes at Cashel and three times at Maam.
Irishtown Beauty bred well with Village Boy, and a son, Clonberne Boy, a full brother to Errismore Beauty, took the Stallion Class honours in ’07 for owner Fred Gannon.
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