Wednesday 28 September 2016

Over 200,000 to make beeline for Ploughing Championships

Published 09/09/2015 | 02:30

A hit with the ladies: young Niall Byrne gets a kiss from Niamh Kennedy and Sintija Zorge at the launch of the National
Ploughing Championships in Co Laois. Photo: Jeff Harvey
A hit with the ladies: young Niall Byrne gets a kiss from Niamh Kennedy and Sintija Zorge at the launch of the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois. Photo: Jeff Harvey

The countdown is under way to this year’s National Ploughing Championships with more than 200,000 expected to descend on the 800-acre event.

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National Ploughing Association managing director Anna May McHugh said the event provided a showcase for Irish farmers and agri-business and proved a “well-earned break” after the busy summer harvest season.

“If you gave less than two minutes to every exhibit, it would take you almost seven days to view the whole exhibition area, and that’s not to mention the 357 competitors we have in the ploughing competitions,” she said.

There are several additions to this year’s three-day extravaganza, which takes place from September 22 to 24 for the third year in a row at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois.

Many of the country’s top machinery brands will be showcasing their products, while there will be a strong health and safety element, education, interactive science workshops and innovations competitions. The producers behind many Irish food companies will also feature among the 1,500 exhibitors.

Foreign Affairs Minister and Laois TD Charlie Flanagan said it was the highlight of the “rural calendar” but it also lured many city and town dwellers to visit.

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