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Sunday 24 June 2018

Ploughing Day 1: Five things to see and do today as the largest agricultural festival kicks off

Crowds arrive for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Pic:Mark Condren
Crowds arrive for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren
Eileen McKenna from Monaghan at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

The largest agricultural festival in Europe kicks off today as hundreds of thousands of people descend on Tullamore.

Here's the top five things to see and do today:

1) Sheep shearing opens the show today, starting at 9am until 4:30pm at Block 1, Row 14, stand 303. If you want to learn some new shearing tricks, this is the stall to be at this morning.

2) At 11am, join the Farming Independent at Block 2, Row 9, Stand 222 for an exclusive panel discussing women in farming and the challenges they face.

3) At noon, President Michael D Higgins will officially open the ploughing at Block 3, Row 10, stand 249. The official ceremony will include a blessing from clergy and no doubt the President will pose for a few snaps.

4) Also at midday, join Niall Cronin as he speaks to hurler Padraic Mannion at the Irish Independent tent, Block 2, Row 9, Stand 222.

Brothers Ross (8) and Fiachra O'Dowd (10) from County Roscommon at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Pic:Mark Condren
19.9.2017
Brothers Ross (8) and Fiachra O'Dowd (10) from County Roscommon at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 19.9.2017
Fiachra O'Dowd (10) from County Roscommon at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 19.9.2017
Crowds arrive for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 19.9.2017
Fiachra O'Dowd (10) from County Roscommon at the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 19.9.2017
Crowds arrive for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 19.9.2017

5) A few things kick off after lunch at 1:30 with a fashion show at Block 3, Row 28, Stand 637. If you fancy yourself a baker, the National Brown Bread Baking semi-final is also on at 1:30 at Block 4, Row 10, Stand 250.

Also today keep an eye out for the tractor carpool karaoke, the puppy stand and the ploughing competition itself.

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Celebrities such as Louis Walsh, Mike Denver, Jamie Heaslip, Vogue Williams and this year's Rose of Tralee, Jennifer Byrne, are all set to attend today's event.

The evening comes to a close at 6pm, as the Ploughing Competition results will be announced at Block 3, Row 10, Stand 249.

Crowds arrive for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Pic:Mark Condren
Crowds arrive for the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren

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