Farm Ireland
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Sunday 21 October 2018

Ploughing expected to head to Carlow in 2019

Workers repair damage to the Fine Gael stand. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Workers repair damage to the Fine Gael stand. Photo: Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Moss Trent from Curnaheen, Tralee, Co. Kerry taking part in the Senior Horse plough competition. Picture; Gerry Mooney
National Ploughing Championships 2018. Victor Scott with his Horses Shane and Alex compete in the Senior Horse plough competition. Picture; Gerry Mooney

Margaret Donnelly and Nicola Anderson

Next year’s National Ploughing Championships is set to take place in Carlow, although NPA officials would not confirm it after Carlow TD Pat Deering let it slip that it would be held in his constituency next year.

Deering inadvertently let it slip on Thursday that the event would take place in Carlow in 2019, an event that is worth €35m to the economy.

He was in the Fine Gael tent when he said he looked forward to welcoming people to Carlow in 2019.

The NPA declined to confirm that it would move to Carlow next year, but sources in the county said it is set to take place in a new site off the M9.

This year’s event was hit significantly when it was forced to cancel the second day, Wednesday, which is usually the biggest day for attendance after Storm Ali ripped through the site in the early hours of Wednesday morning, leaving a trail of wrecked and damaged tents and marquees on the site.

While the event was initially delayed, the NPA eventually called the day off and only allowed exhibitors on the site to assess damage to their sites at 3pm after health and safety officials had assessed and secured the site.

A number of exhibitors had their marquees completely destroyed and in some cases had to call in emergency marquees to be erected in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Damage to many exhibitors is expected to run into the thousands, while the event which is now going to take place on Friday will also add significant costs to exhibitors.

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Official figures put the attendance on the first day in the region of 97,000, while Thursday’s attendance figures are thought to be significantly back on expectations. Many had expected a bumper attendance today, with disappointed visitors from yesterday expected to return to the Tullamore site today.

However, many exhibitors reported that footfall was slow this morning and only picked up at lunchtime, before the heavens opened on the site.

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