Wednesday 28 September 2016

Crowds of 200,000 to flock to Ploughing

Published 22/09/2015 | 02:30

Alannn Moran and Grainne Doyle both from Longford pictured at the National Ploughing Championships in Rathaniska Co Laois
Alannn Moran and Grainne Doyle both from Longford pictured at the National Ploughing Championships in Rathaniska Co Laois
Local women Deirdre Lalor, from Colt and Ellen McDermot, from Abbeyleix working on site at the National Ploughing Championships site at Ratheniska. Photo: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

All roads lead to Ratheniska as more then 200,000 are expected to descend on the 800-acre site as the National Ploughing Championships kicks off.

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The weather forecast for the three days is a mixed bag of showers and some sunny spells.

There are over 1,500 stands, while for machinery-afficionados many of the leading brands will be showcasing new tractors and products.

Motoring exhibits have increased by a fifth, and it is estimated that the championsip generates €39m in annual sales for Irish businesses.

Anna May McHugh, the managing director, said they have increased the level of track laid on site to ensure visitor comfort. She stressed that the event is a showcase for agriculture but has much to attract those from both urban and rural backgrounds.

Potential buyers are coming from China, Germany and a host of other countries, with new additions this year including a Young Innovator Bursary and International Business Centre in the Innovation Arena.

Some 17 colleges will also host education exhibits as they strive to attract new talent, while the Science Foundation of Ireland will run a variety of interactive science shows.

The Irish Independent will host a special debate on the rural crime epidemic at our stand at 2pm. Karl Henry will be discussing fitness from midday, while tomorrow at 11am Diarmuid Gavin will discuss how to get the most out of your garden and seasonal planting.

Sports columnist Tony Ward talks about the Rugby World Cup at 1pm tomorrow, while Colm Keys and Eoin 'Bomber' Liston look back on the GAA season on Thursday.

There will be lots of prize giveaways at our stand, from a quad bike worth over €7,000, to rugby tickets and much more.

You can find the Irish Independent and Farming Independent at Block 3, Row 22, Stand 389.

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