Ploughing Championship exhibitors fear small crowds and more insurance on extra day
Exhibitors planning to showcase their wares at the extra day of the National Ploughing Championships tomorrow are worried they may have to fork out for extra insurance costs and see smaller crowds.
The National Ploughing Championships contributes more than €35m to the local economy annually. As Wednesday is traditionally the day that attracts the largest crowds and revenue, organisers have extended the event until tomorrow to minimise the loss of yesterday's cancellation.
Exhibitor Grace Roche, owner of Pretty Bird farm clothing company, said there was no question she would be exhibiting tomorrow.
"We will be there Friday to regain the loss of today. Friday could be the best day of all. Hopefully we will get a crowd."
However, not all exhibitors were positive about the National Ploughing Association's (NPA) decision to extend the Ploughing.
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association general secretary Eddie Punch said he was concerned about the extra day as many businesses have other commitments.
"We have meetings in Dublin on Friday and I'd like my staff to be back at work. It could completely disrupt our workload," he said.
Mr Punch also criticised the NPA for not cancelling yesterday's event earlier.
"I know it's easy to say in hindsight but the decision to call off should have been made earlier. Trees were down and health and safety must take precedence. Once the call came in that it was being put off until 11am the fact whether it would go ahead was always dubious," he said.
The NPA organiser Anna May McHugh said the extent of the damage could not have been predicted and after receiving advice from gardaí and Met Éireann took the decision not to open yesterday.
Meanwhile, a source in a leading farm organisation said he was concerned about the substantial insurance costs that would be involved for exhibitors tomorrow as most were only insured until 6pm today. A spokesperson for Wood Pellet Stoves Ireland said they were worried they wouldn't get a large crowd tomorrow. "It's hard to know will we get the same numbers we could have gotten if Wednesday was a good day."
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