Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 27 April 2018

Ploughing Day 3: It's like Electric Picnic, but at least farmers don't have to buy new wellies

Tankers trey to clear flooding this morning at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Pic:Mark Condren
21.9.2017
Tankers trey to clear flooding this morning at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 21.9.2017
Making their way to the final day of the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 21.9.2017
Ryan Kearney (11) from Dublin gets a dig out from friends at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 20.9.2017
Fire crews at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 20.9.2017
Flooding at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore. Pic: Mark Condren
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The one good thing about the rain today at the Ploughing Championships was that every farmer there is equipped to deal with all kinds of weather.

Indeed Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, said the ploughing is much more than just an event for farmers, it's an opportunity for them to socialise and said there is no other event in Europe on the same scale as it.

He described it as the Electric Picnic for farmers, but luckily farmers are equipped and didn't need a mad dash to buy some wellies for the event.

And it's just as well, as the rain came down in bucket loads yesterday. While Met Eireann has predicted for some time that yesterday was to be wet, it was just damp for most of the morning, with the odd heavy shower. But that all changed by 12noon when torrential rain drove the thousands of people at the Ploughing into the nearest tent available for shelter.

Making their way to the final day of the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Pic:Mark Condren
21.9.2017
Making their way to the final day of the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 21.9.2017

And then things went from bad to worse. The electricity went on a number of rows and the site was awash with reports of flooded tents. And so it was.

A number of tents were flooded, roads were closed as the heavy rain had no where to go but settle in very large puddles. But help was at hand and the electricity was restored and the fire crews with the help of slurry tankers took to draining the worst hit areas.

By evening the site was looking like it had been through some tough times, but the crowds were still happy as they headed for the car parks.

Today the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due on site, along with EU Commissioner Phil Hogan. Sports stars expected to make it through the mud include Rob Kearney and James McCarthy - All Ireland man of the match.

Also Read


All that remains to be seen on the last day of the event is whether the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar can handle the heavy conditions underground when he arrives today.

While we all know he's not from farming stock, it remains to be seen whether he can drive a tractor. Agriculture Minister Michael Creed dodged the question of Leo's tractor driving ability today, but if the Taoiseach comes under pressure from farmers in Tullamore he'll need to do more than flash some fancy socks to appease them.

Having fun at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.
Pic:Mark Condren
20.9.2017
Having fun at the 2017 National Ploughing Championships in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly. Pic:Mark Condren 20.9.2017

For Stories Like This and More
Download the FarmIreland App


Online Editors



Top Stories