Tuesday 18 December 2018

Day 2 of Ploughing Championship further delayed due to severe weather conditions

Damage done to a tent at the Ploughing Championships
Damage done to a tent at the Ploughing Championships
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
19 Sept 2018; General view of muck at Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Teams at the National Ploughing Championships are assessing any potential damage done to the site after Storm Ali wreaked havoc this morning.

It was announced last night that the opening time of the second day of the championship would be delayed until 11am.

However, it is believed that the opening time may be further delayed until 12pm this morning as crews assess the site and are denying access to anyone yet.

"Storm Ali peaked an hour and a half later than expected. Plan is to open gates for 12 noon," the National Ploughing Association said.

A fallen tree outside the entrance to the Ploughing Championship Photo: Jason Cross
A fallen tree outside the entrance to the Ploughing Championship Photo: Jason Cross

Anna Marie McHugh of the National Ploughing Championships said they will review the situation again at 11.30am.

Speaking to Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One, Ms McHugh said; "We had our hourly assessments with Met Éireann.

National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
19 Sept 2018; General view of muck at Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"The wind speeds are still not at a safe level for the public. We will review the situation again at 11.30am. Safety is our priority."

Crews have asked people in transit to the championship already to remain in their cars when they arrive until the go-ahead is given to access the site.

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National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney

"We do have a number of facades that have been knocked," Ms McHugh continued.

"Some of the hoarding on the front of tents has been knocked down.

"We changed the opening time to noon, but we will reassess again at 11.30am."

Exhibitors and members of the public and media are currently waiting in the car park outside the entrance.

Motorist had a lucky escape after a tree fell on car Photo: An Garda Siochana
Motorist had a lucky escape after a tree fell on car Photo: An Garda Siochana
Damage done to a tent at the Ploughing Championships
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People take cover from the torrential rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
General view of muck at Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of empty road during delayed opening of Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of empty road during delayed opening of Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of blocked entrance during delayed opening of Ploughing Championships 2018 Day 2. Skreggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Picture: Caroline Quinn
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Stewards Richard Sunders and Mark Kennedy make their way throufgh a deserted site as storm Ali arrives . Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Portaloos blown over as storm Ali arrives in Tullamore. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Luke and Niamh Maguire from Kilrush in Co. Clare make their way around in the rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. People run for cover in the heavy rain at the championships. Picture; Gerry Mooney
A tree down at BusÁras (Photo: Independent.ie)
A tree down on O'Connell Street (Photo: Independent.ie)
A tree collapsed on a house near Fine Gael TD Noel Rock's home this morning (Photo: Noel Rock Twitter)
A tree down on the Kilbeggan to Clara Road in Co Offaly

This photograph shows the damage done to a large tent at the site in Screggan, Tullamore.

Galeforce winds of up to 130km/h have caused the tent, believed to be a food area, to partially collapse.

The high winds have also caused portable toilets to overturn on the site.

Forecasters yesterday advised "extreme caution" in the coastal areas of Clare, Connacht and Donegal this morning.

Met Éireann reissued the Status Orange weather warning this morning, saying; "Storm Ali will track close to the west and northwest coast this morning.

"South to southwest winds veering westerly will reach mean speeds between 65 and 80km/h and gusts between 110km/h and 130 km/h for a time.

"Gusts in excess of 130 km/h are possible in coastal regions of the west and northwest. The core of strong winds will be along Atlantic coasts at first, before transferring quickly eastwards during the morning."

The Status Orange warning applies to Connacht, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Dublin, Kildare, Longford, Louth, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Clare and Kerry. A Status Yellow warning is in place for every other county.

The warning will be valid from 5am this morning until 1pm lunchtime.

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