Tuesday 17 September 2019

Ploughing Championships 2019: What's on, tickets, how to get there and what is the weather forecast

Anna May McHugh and daughter Anna Marie at Ploughing HQ. Photo: Mark Condren
Anna May McHugh and daughter Anna Marie at Ploughing HQ. Photo: Mark Condren

Aoife Walsh

With only hours to go, the countdown is on for the National Ploughing Championship 2019 in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow. From traffic, weather, and events, below is everything you need to know.


Warm sunny spells have been forecast ahead of the National Ploughing Championships next week, with temperatures expected to reach into the high teens.

Met Eireann forecaster Deirdre Lowe said the week will consist of mostly dry and settled conditions with plenty of sunshine making an appearance for the championships.

"It's mainly settled at the moment, it looks like pressure is going to build for the Azores. Monday may have a few showers but after that, there's a good chance of dry weather for the week. Temperatures are close to normal initially but probably improving a bit possibly as the week goes on, it could get quite warm," she said.

"Monday will still be quite fresh, temperatures near normal at best. Then, improving, at the moment it looks like pressure is building from the azures. Relatively warm air coming up from the azures, the coming week. A mix of cloud and sunshine, so it will be a pleasant Septemeber."

The Met Eireann forecaster continued: "The nights cool with some mist and fog at first, but generally dry. We could get temperatures up into the high teens, so above normal."

Ticket costs

The cost of a ticket to the event varies. Adults can purchase a ticket for €20, while senior citizen tickets are € 15.

Secondary School Students can go for €15, while children under 12 go free once accompanied by an adult.

Get the latest news from the Farming Independent team 3 times a week.

College student tickets cost €20 each.

Online ticket sales are now closed but tickets can be bought on the day of the event at the admission gates.


The 3-day event has a jam-packed schedule, with activities starting at 9am each day until 6.00pm. Activities include machinery demonstrations, sheep shearing demonstrations, motor shows, threshing and more.

Traffic and shuttle bus services

Gardai have put seven different routes in place as part of their traffic management plan for the Ploughing Championship this year. The event takes place in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow.

The routes are blue, yellow, brown, purple, grey, yellow and orange. Motorway Junction 5, and M9 exit ramps are closed to all motorists during the Ploughing.

The Blue route is for traffic travelling from the Cork/Munster area.

According to the Traffic Management plan, traffic travelling Northbound on the M8 will exit at Junction 4, Urlingford. Traffic will then proceed to Johnstown and Durrow via R639. At Durrow, traffic will proceed towards Ballyragget via the N7 and continue on the N77 to the Kilkenny. Traffic will keep left the fork and join the M9 at Junction 6, Powerstown and continue on R448 (Old Kilkenny Road) towards Carlow. Turn right at Milford Cross to Ballyloo Cross Roads and continue onto Graiguenaspiddougue Cross. At Graiguenaspiddougue Cross, turn right onto the N80 and the Blue Car Park entrance will be on the right.

Patrons travelling via the Blue Route will return on Blue Route staying on N80 to Junction 5, M9 South (Kilkenny).

The Yellow route has been devised for those travelling from Waterford.

Traffic travelling Northbound on the M9 from Waterford will exit at Junction 9, Danesfort. Traffic will then proceed towards Bennettsbridge. Traffic will proceed through Bennettsbridge and onto the Gowran Road. Traffic will be diverted right in Gowran and travel towards Goresbridge via the R702. Traffic will continue through Goresbridge to Borris and turn left at Kavanagh’s Public House onto the Fenagh Road. Traffic will continue to Fenagh and will be directed through the village of Fenagh to Lumcloon and onto the event site.

Patrons travelling from Limerick will use the Brown route.

Along the brown route, traffic travelling Northbound on the M7 will exit at Junction 21, Borris-In-Ossory. Traffic will then proceed to Ballacolla via the R434. Traffic will turn left at traffic lights in Ballacolla and travel towards Abbeyleix via the R433. Traffic will turn left off the R433 in Abbeyleix and continue towards the traffic lights. Traffic will then turn right onto the Carlow Road, R430 and proceed towards The Swan. Traffic will travel through The Swan towards Newtown Cross. At Newtown Cross traffic will turn left and take an immediate right at Flemings Public House,signposted Carlow. At Molloys Cross, Tolerton, traffic will turn right onto the R431, signposted Castlecomer. Continue on the Castlecomer Road before taking a left onto the L3896, signposted Rossmore. Traffic will travel through Ballinabranagh towards Milford.At the T-Junction at Milford Lough trafffic will turn right, signposted Leighlinbridge and continue straight to the T-Junction with the R448, the old Carlow/Kilkenny Road, opposite The Arbouretum Garden Centre.

Traffic will then turn left towards Leighlinbridge and then turn right at the R705, signposted Leighlinbridge. Traffic will continue into Leighlinbridge before turning left onto the Tullow Road at The Lord Bagenal Hotel. Traffic will continue on the Tullow Road towards the Harrow Cross and onwards towards Nurney. Traffic will continue through Nurney Village and will be directed towards the event site.

The Purple route is for those travelling from Dublin/Northern Route.

Traffic travelling from Dublin/M50 will travel on the M7, Naas, exiting onto the M9 at Junction 11, signposted Waterford/Kilkenny/Kilcullen. Traffic will continue on the M9 and exit at Junction 4, Prumplestown, signposted Carlow/Castledermot. Traffic will enter the roundabout and take the third exit and continue towards Carlow on the R448.

Traffic will continue on the R448 to the roundabout at MSD and take the first exit signposted Hacketstown/Tullow. Traffic will continue to the T-Junction with the Hacketstown Road and turn left travelling to Bennekerry Cross and turning right. Traffic will continue to the next T-Junction at Kernanstown and turn right to Sion Cross. At Sion Cross traffic will turn left, signposted Rathoe. Traffic will continue to Kellistown Cross turning right, signposted Fighting Cocks and will be directed towards the event site.

Traffic travelling from Galway/West will follow the Green route.

Traffic travelling from the West will exit M6 at Junction 5 and travel the N52 to Tullamore.Traffic will travel on the N52 to the Clonminch roundabout taking the first exit onto the N80, signposted Portlaoise/Mountmellick. Traffic will travel through Mountmellick towards Emo on the R422. Traffic will continue through Emo to New Inn Cross roundabout at Finline Furniture and turn left onto the R445, signposted Vicarstown.

Traffic will continue past The Gandon Inn and take the second exit off the roundabout, following the signs for Vicarstown R422. Traffic will continue to Vicarstown, taking caution over the bridge, and continue along the R427 to the Cloney Cross Roads T-

Junction with the R417. Traffic will then turning right and travel towards Kilberry as far as Bert Cross. At Bert Cross traffic will turn left onto the L8067 and continue to Russlestown Cross. Traffic will turn right at Russlestown Cross towards Athy. At the roundabout in Athy take the first exit, signposted Ballitore N78. Traffic will travel towards Ballitore/Timolin and turn right onto the Castledermot Road, R448. Traffic will continue through Castledermot and turn left at O’Neill’s Public House for Tullow. Traffic will continue through Killerrig Cross to Bohernabeakey T-Junction, turning right for Grangeford. At Grangeford T-Junction traffic will turn right and then left and travel to Rathoe.Traffic will travel through Rathoe and will continue towards Carlow Precast turning right onto the N80 and will be directed towards the event site.

Patrons coming from Wexford will use the Grey route, which is on the N80 towards Bunclody. Traffic will enter Bunclody and continue straight through Bunclody towards Carlow. Traffic will continue through Ballon on the N80 and continue past Ballykealey House on the left. Traffic will be directed towards the event site.

The Orange route will manage traffic from Wicklow.

Traffic travelling on the N81 from the Blessington direction will continue to Baltinglass. Traffic will travel through Baltinglass to Rathvilly and continue on the N81 to Tullow. Traffic will travel through Tullow and over the bridge to Closh Cross on the N81. Traffic will turn right at Closh Cross onto the N80 and will continue through Ballon past Ballykealey House on the left. Traffic will be directed towards the event site.

A free shuttle bus service will also be in operation from the old Braun site on the O'Brien Road, Carlow. The times are as follows:

  • 7.15am to 12pm – Shuttle Bus every 15 minutes from Braun to Event Site
  • 1.30pm to 3pm – Shuttle Bus every 30 minutes from Braun to Event Site
  • 3pm to 7pm – Shuttle Bus every 15 minutes from Event Site to Braun


Gardai have devised carparks for patrons that correspond to the colour route they travel by. All car park entrances and exits will be clearly marked with signage, and will be controlled by garda personnel. There will also be an area for bicycle parking.


While guide dogs are welcome at the National Ploughing Championships, the NPA has advised attendees to leave their pets at home due to the large number of crowds the the event attracts each day. They have also asked that patrons do not keep their pets in their cars in the car park.

  • For more information about the National Ploughing Championships 2019 please click here

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