Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 11 December 2018

'Farmers are used to this kind of thing' - Thousands forced to return home as day 2 of 'The Ploughing' cancelled

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

Rachel Farrell

Disappointed crowds have flocked from the Ploughing Championship to Tullamore town, following the announcement earlier this morning that today’s event has been cancelled as a result of Storm Ali.

Jimmy Walsh and his wife Mary, who travelled down to the event from Carlow, said they were disappointed at the news but explained that unpredictable weather is something farmers are accustomed to.

“Obviously we’re disappointed it’s been cancelled, but my wife made a point on the way in. People in farming would understand how weather can impact these things. It would have been worse if it had of been very wet last Friday when I wanted to cut silage,” Jimmy told FarmIreland after they took refuge in a local hotel.

“It would have been far worse, but you get used to these things. Farming people anyways would have a pretty tough edge to them, they can take the disappointments like that, possible others wouldn’t.”

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

The pair added that it was ”worse for the exhibitors” and the speakers taking part in today’s event.

“It’s a big loss to the exhibitors and people that are there, because even if it’s open tomorrow you lose the momentum.

“It’s far worse for the exhibitors- and Mary Berry, for her first time at the ploughing,” Mary added.

Others expressed disappointment for the many transition year students that travelled down today.

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“We realise the big preparation that goes into it. Yesterday, you had so many people there and today would be a bigger day and people were really going to make a big effort to get there today,” said Mary Fitzgerald from Co Clare.

“The students were there in droves and it’ll be hard for them to readjust if they’re heading bac to school there, they won’t concentrate at all, they’ll be thinking they shouldn’t be there, they should be somewhere else at the ploughing. It’s disappointing.” 

For Padraig Cleary, from north Clare, the disappointment came from not being able to perform at today’s event as planned.

“We’re bitterly disappointed, we were supposed to be singing at one of the bandstands. We’ll hopefully be back tomorrow at stand 662, and if they stay open until 7 o’clock we might even perform then,” he said.

Locals from the Tullamore area, some of whom lost power overnight, said they believed the event should have been cancelled earlier.

I think it should have been cancelled earlier, some people travelled down last night and can’t go now. They knew there was going to be a storm and they still went ahead. It clearly wasn’t safe to be there,” one local resident told FarmIreland.

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