Farm Ireland

Monday 20 August 2018

Ploughing Day 2: Hardy souls brave Ploughing as epic rain batters Tullamore

Weather warning issued for heavy rain

Getting RAIN ready at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly
Getting RAIN ready at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly
Ice creams in the rain at a recent National Ploughing Championships. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ryan O'Rourke and Claire Fox

Wellies may not be enough for those at Plouging in Tullamore today.

Rainy conditions and heavier traffic will define the second day of the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly today.

Met Eireann has issued a status yellow weather warning as heavy rain is expected today, continuing in the east for a time tonight. A total of 25 to 35 mm of rain is expected to fall.

And the rain has begun to fall. By lunchtime a number of heavy showers had soaked the site and visitors alike and Met Eireann's weather warning remains in place until 3am tomorrow.

There has been rain on site since 7am this morning, with the first heavy down pour at 7:30am.

With between 80 and 100 thousands are people expected to arrive throughout the day, so it’s going to get muddy.

Met Eireann forecasters have said that today will start off cloudy, with rain spreading in from the east, and it is expected to become heavier as the day goes on. Maximum temperatures 14 to 17 Celsius, with mostly moderate south to southeast winds.

Those travelling to the Ploughing Championships today are being advised to bring rain gear and dress warmly. Traffic moved smoothly yesterday, and a similar lack of delays is expected for today.

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Getting RAIN ready at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly
Getting RAIN ready at the Ploughing Championships in Screggan Co Offaly

According to Met Eireann’s Joan Blackburn, while yesterday was t-shirt weather at the Ploughing, wet and rainy weather forecasted for today will mean visitors will have to brace themselves for mucky conditions.

“Rain is the one word for Wednesday. It may clear in the evening but visitors will have to prepare themselves for heavy rain tomorrow. It’ll stay bright and humid though,” she said.

She explained however that a dry day was the outlook for Thursday, although temperatures would be cooler.

“It’ll be a fresher and cooler day on Thursday but it’ll be mostly dry which visitors planning to attend will be glad to hear.”


Garda Inspector John Lawless, who  is in charge of traffic at the event said that yesterday’s traffic was “moving well and light” partly due to the good weather and partly due to them following the colour coded traffic plan but warned motorists that today could be much heavier due to the forecasted wet weather.

“It moved well yesterday but today it will be harder with the weather which will definitely impact on us. We advise motorists to follow the signposts and in particular for those travelling from Cork to get off the M8 from Horse and Jockey and not Portlaois which some were doing yesterday. That’s how it was signposted anyway,” he said.

Call down to the Independent tent and meet the FarmIreland team to get out of the rain. You can also meet Jamie Heaslip, who will be with us to give a talk at 11:30am.

What to see on day two

1. Visit the miracle quad calves - the four 180m to one quad calves were born on Tom Clair's farm in Clare. Now, you can see them in real life at the Ploughing where Rosie, Fluffie, Mia and Jenny are lapping up the attention.

2. Electric is the future and the Tesla electric car with gull wing doors was quite the attraction on day 1 of the Ploughing. Close by you can also see the VW assault course where you can drive a jeep around the obstacles. Farmers will want to see the Keenan self propelled diet feeder - the first time it's been on show in Ireland, while the pink Valtra tractor has proved quite the popular picture opportunity.

3. Call into the innovation tent to see the latest in agricultural inventions and ideas, while the vintage machinery displays show how things were done in the good old days.

4. Foodies can take respite from the rain in the numerous marquees with local food on offer. The Visit Offaly marquee will also be displaying the best the host county has to offer.

5. Rugby start Jamie Heaslip will be part of a sporting panel in the Independent stand - Row 9, 222 - where he'll discuss being a top level sports player.The Irish Independent talks will start at 11am with a very interesting talk about marriage, pre-nups and divorce and the implications on farms. Solicitor Deirdre Flynn, Barrister Teresa Murphy and financial accountant Martin O'Sullivan will join INM Group Business Editor Dearbhail McDonald to discuss the implications of marriage breakdown on farms.

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