The Loy – An Early Irish Spade

Each year at Bloom you will find something new and someone new and interesting who has a great story to share. Today it was the people at The Loy Association of Ireland that had a great story to tell.


The Loy is one of the earliest forms of Irish spade which was used to plough the land by farmers. The name itself comes from the Irish word Lai which means spade. The tool itself is made from a long single piece of ash wood with a footrest and narrow steal blade used for cutting.

As the demonstrator explained today the Loy is a tool which changes design depending on the area of the country you are in and the land the farmer is working on. The first job to carry out is set out a straight line that can be used as a guide and then the boundary is cut.


Once this is done the tapered bottom of the Loy is used to lift the sod creating rows with clear passages in between them.


Once these rows are cut then they can be used to plant crops into. This is meant to be a very successful way of growing potatoes!


More information on The Loy Association of Ireland can be found on