Council Chair hosts reception for The Bogmen, winners of BBC’s Fast and Farmerish

28th April 2022

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The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, recently hosted a reception at the Ardhown for 3 young men from County Fermanagh, Wayne Manly, William Parkinson and Daniel Thornton who collectively, as “The Bogmen”, won the inaugural BBC Fast and Farmerish title. Please see below, text of the Chair’s address at the reception.

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen for this reception for Wayne Manley, William Parkinson and Daniel Thornton, otherwise known as ‘The Bogmen’, in recognition of their success in the BBC programme, The Fast and The Farmerish.

I understand the three of you are best friends and it was William who signed you up for the competition after he was interviewed at a local country event.

The show involved teams of three going head to head starting with a regional heat against The Determinators.  This first stage tested your speed in a hotly contested drag race followed by a test of your artistic skills in a mowing challenge before being literally shocked in one of the toughest reversing manoeuvres.  Although your opponents were call The Determinators, it was your skill and determination that came through and saw you win the regional heat and the opportunity to represent Northern Ireland at a national level.

In the semi-final you went head to head with the team from Scotland where you once again took on three wheel spinning, engine revving challenges including bowling with tyres, squeezing through tight spaces at speed and a tricky relay that tested not only your driving skills but also your memory.  After the three high octane challenges you once again emerged as the winners earning your place in the grand final.

The final was against the team representing England and once again you faced another three ambitious challenges.  The first task was to tow massive items of machinery along an abandoned runway followed by a castle building challenge using bales.  It was neck and neck, however, you kept your nerve in the epic grand prix to be crowned the champions.

Throughout the competition, each of the tasks were designed to test your skill, nerve, creativity and teamwork and all three of you demonstrated these attributes at the highest level.  I believe another key contribution to your success was the friendship between the three of you which was clearly evident throughout the series.  You knew each others skills, trusted each other and had fun.

Agriculture is a key industry within our District and it is vital for providing many raw materials and food, it makes a significant contribution to the economy and helps the environment through effective land management.

This was once highlighted by former US President Ronald Reagan when he said “We are nothing without farmers.  They’re the backbone of our country and everything we do to help them helps our country and its future.”

Farming doesn’t come without its challenges and it can be difficult for young people to progress a full time career in the industry.  However, young people like you are the future of our District and the industry and through your participation in this programme, I believe that you will have inspired many young people to pursue their interests in farming and ensure that this important industry and rural way of life in Northern Ireland is sustained for the future.

On behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I would like to congratulate all three of you on winning the inaugural The Fast and The Farmerish competition.  You have done yourselves, your family and your friends proud and you have also done the Fermanagh and Omagh District and Northern Ireland proud and I wish you every success in the future.